Tuesday, 28 March 2023 00:00

How Did I Develop an Ingrown Toenail?

The pain and discomfort that can happen from having an ingrown toenail can cause difficulty in completing daily activities. They occur when the side of the toenail grows into the skin instead of over it. Ingrown toenails can occur from wearing shoes that are too tight, such as high heels or shoes with a pointed toe. They may also happen if the toenails are trimmed incorrectly or possibly for genetic reasons. Some patients are born with abnormal nail shapes, and this may cause an ingrown toenail to develop. The first sign an ingrown toenail is developing can be mild swelling and redness, and if not treated promptly, the nail may become painful. The nail may turn a white or yellow color, which may precede a possible infection. Soaking the affected foot in warm water may bring mild relief, followed by using a piece of cotton to gently remove the nail from digging into the skin. This may provide temporary relief and will ultimately need to be examined by a podiatrist. If you have developed this condition, it is suggested that you consult with this type of doctor who can successfully treat ingrown toenails. 

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Gabe Rodriguez, DPM of Sioux Falls Foot Specialist. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.


  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition


Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.


Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Sioux Falls, SD . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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