If you have a nail growing into the side of your toe, this is likely an ingrown toenail. This is a common condition that can be very painful, and seeking treatment for it should involve seeing a licensed podiatrist. Here are some frequently asked questions about the condition and their answers.

Question #1: What causes ingrown toenails?

Ingrown toenails are caused by excessive pressure put onto the toe. This usually happens when shoes are too tight, or when an athletic activity is increased suddenly. Ingrown toenails are also often caused by the way the nail is cut. When toenails are cut in a curved direction instead of straight across, this can cause the nail to become ingrown.

Question #2: Can I treat my ingrown toenail at home?

While there are a few safe methods to reduce the symptoms of ingrown toenails at home, like resting and using Epsom salt soaks, there is no safe way to actually remove an ingrown toenail at home.

Question #3: How are ingrown toenails treated?

Ingrown toenails are treated by a podiatrist removing the portion of the toenail that is growing into the skin in a way so that the ingrown won’t grow back. This surgery is done with a local anaesthetic.

Question #4: Will the entire nail be removed?

In most cases, only the portion of the nail that is growing into the skin will need to be removed. In very extreme ingrown toenails, sometimes a complete nail removal is necessary, but this is rare.

Question #5: Is it hereditary?

Ingrown toenails are usually not considered hereditary. However, there are some hereditary factors like toe shape that can make them more common.

Question #6: How can I avoid ingrown toenails?

The best way to avoid ingrown toenails is to wear well-fitting shoes with wide toes and cut your toenails straight across.


If you have an ingrown toenail, you should be seen by a licensed podiatrist for treatment. They will be able to diagnose your ingrown and give you effective advice and treatment. To schedule a consultation with a podiatrist, give us a call at (424)-299-4627 or visit our website for more information.