Your Health at Flawless Feet is our Priority

7 Causes of Ingrown Toenails

Posted 27 Jan

7 Causes of Ingrown Toenails

1- Badly cut toenails

2- Stubbing your toe

3- Repeated micro-injuries to your toe

4- Wearing shoes that are too tight

5- Picking at your toes

6- Sweaty feet, it softens the skin making it easier for toenails to grown inwards

7- Genetics


A few of these causes you can’t do anything about; you might be genetically pre-dispositioned to have ingrowing toenails or have inherited sweaty feet; accidents also happen, which may randomly cause your toenail to grow incorrectly. The others you do have control over. It is vital that you trim your (and your children’s) toenails correctly; straight across, do not curve down at the sides. You may love thin, pointy shoes, but if you have wide feet, you will be cramming your feet into them, putting pressure on them for hours.


If you’ve ever had an ingrowing toenail, you’ll know the agony it causes; the nail poking into your flesh can cause pain for every step you take. It can be difficult to sleep as even the weight of the duvet can be too much on your toe’ let alone the extreme shooting pains that happen if someone accidentally steps on your toe! Ouch- it doesn’t cover it!


We hear of people who have lived with ingrowing toenails for years; they go around this cycle.


cycle of ingrowing toenail


If they are lucky, they can keep it at bay; it’s not what we recommend; ideally, we’d like to assess and treat them. Picking out the nail and relieving the pressure will never sort the problem; it will always return. If they are unlucky, at some point when they are picking at the nail, they will introduce an infection into the skin, which will lead to the toe becoming,

  • Swollen
  • Red
  • Bleeding
  • Infected and oozing pus

Once this happens, the pain and embarrassment triple; they will probably need medication to treat the infection and the open wound taking a long time to heal.


To stop going around this circle for the rest of their lives, they will need to invest in their health and book in for our permanent solution, ingrowing toenail surgery. Our expert podiatrists perform it in our clinic; it takes about an hour, it's under anaesthetic, and aftercare is included.


Stage of ingrowing toenail removal

Winter is the ideal time to book an ingrowing toenail appointment, as it will take a few weeks for the toe to heal and a few months for the nail to grow back.


For those fortunate enough to have not experienced an ingrowing toenail, prevention is better than cure, so follow these tips.

  • Cut your toenails properly
  • Wear wider shoes
  • Wear the correct size of the shoe so that your toe isn’t bumping into the end
  • Check your feet regularly
  • Have a good foot hygiene routine


Many of our patients are nervous about ingrowing toenail surgery; we are happy to chat through the procedure, so call us on 020 3713 8361, or look at our website. Everyone must have an assessment appointment first, so we can also run through any concerns.


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