Ingrown toenails are common conditions that arise when the toenails are consistently pressured by the shoe. When an ingrown toenail forms, the nail will start to grow into the side of the skin instead of straight around it as normal. Ingrown toenails have a variety of symptoms, but can usually be identified by the look and feel of the nail. Ingrown toenails will usually make the corner of the toe red and swollen, and can even cause pus formation. However, what is often more important to patients than how the toe looks is how it feels. 

Ingrown toenails are characteristically very painful. Usually when an ingrown is developing, patients will start to notice that their toe feels painful at the corner. This is because where the nail grows into the skin forms a wound that is often dug into repetitively. Inflammation of the toenail from the ingrown as well as any potential infection can cause the toe to feel warm and tender.

When athletes have ingrown toenails, they will start to notice the pain is worse while exercising or doing sports. Because ingrowns are caused by pressure onto the nail, pain will be increased by the repetitive pressure of the shoe onto the toe while running, jumping, and walking. When walking, an ingrown toenail feels like the skin of your toe is being cut into — because it is! This will be even worse when shoes worn aren’t loose fitting on the toes. 

If the corner of your toe feels painful when you touch it or move around on your feet, an ingrown toenail is likely the cause. The best thing to do in this situation is to schedule a consultation with a licensed podiatrist. They will be able to diagnose your toe pain and help provide you with effective treatment. To schedule a consultation with a podiatrist, give us a call at (424)-299-4627 or visit our website for more information.