Ingrown toenails are a common yet painful condition where the corner or side of the nail is growing into the flesh surrounding the toe. Since the condition is very common, causes for the condition will be common practices that can also be prevented. 

Here are the most common causes of ingrown toenails:

Wearing ill-fitting shoes or heels that are too tight. These shoes make the toes be squeezed by the surrounding walls of the shoe. Pressure applied to the toes cause the nails to grow in an abnormal direction 

Not cutting the nails straight, and instead rounded. This allows the corners of the nails to dig into the skin when growing out.

Fungal infections that cause the nail to widen or thicken. The nail can grow outward and burry into the skin.

Playing sports can increase your risk of developing an ingrown toenail because of the trauma and pressure applied to the nails.

Trauma and injury to the nail as a result of an accident. When you drop something heavy on your toe or any similar incident, your nail can break apart and cause a serious wound. After it heals, your nail may not grow normally. The abnormal growth of the nail may cause the toenail to grow into the skin and cause an ingrown toenail.

An ingrown toenail can also be genetic. Children with parents who have an ingrown toenail are more likely to have an ingrown. This is because of passed genes that affect the direction or shape the nail grows or by the bone of the finger or toe, which might be shaped “upturned.”

If you have an ingrown toenail, contact us to schedule a free consultation with one of our podiatrists. We have same-day appointments available at over 70 clinics nationwide, including St. Louis, MO.