An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of the nail grows down and into the skin of the toe.
Onychocryptosis; Unguis incarnatus; Surgical nail avlusion; Matrix excision
An ingrown toenail can result from a number of things. Poorly fitting shoes and toenails that are not properly trimmed are the most common causes. The skin along the edge of a toenail may become red and infected. The great toe is affected most often, but any toenail can become ingrown.
An ingrown toenail may occur when extra pressure is placed on your toe. This pressure is caused by shoes that are too tight or too loose. If you walk often or participate in athletics, a shoe that is even a little tight can cause this problem. Deformities of the foot or toes can also place extra pressure on the toe.
Nails that are not trimmed properly can also cause ingrown toenails:
- Toenails that are trimmed too short, or if the edges are rounded rather than cut straight across may cause the nail to curl downward and grow into the skin.
- Poor eyesight, inability to reach the toes easily, or having thick nails can make it hard to properly trim nails.
- Picking or tearing at the corners of the nails can also cause an ingrown toenail.
Some people are born with nails that are curved and grow downward. Others have toenails that are too large for their toes. Stubbing your toe or other injuries can also lead to an ingrown toenail.