To figure out what causes an ingrown toenail, look first to your footwear. Shoes that pinch the front of your feet or press against the tops or sides of your big toes can cause the nails to grow into the skin. This can also happen if you trim the nails to a rounded shape, instead of letting the sides grow out straight above the skin. Some people have naturally curved nails that make them more susceptible to ingrowing. If the nail is injured in some way, it may not grow out correctly from the matrix where it forms. Even your posture or your foot biomechanics can put pressure on the edge of your toe.
When the nail grows into the skin, the soft tissue can become irritated, red and inflamed. If the skin is pieced at all, bacteria can enter the wound and infect it. Sometimes pockets of pus form, causing even more pressure and pain. In short, ingrown toenails are no fun!
To get relief, call Atlantic Foot & Ankle Associates in Florida at one of these locations: Daytona Beach—(386) 274-3336, Edgewater—(386) 957-4818, Orange City—(386) 775-2281, Palm Coast—(386) 586-7373, or Port Orange—(386) 788-6333.