Ingrown toenails are a common problem – one that can cause tremendous pain and discomfort. On account of their commonality, we often have to provide treatment so patients can find relief and feel comfortable performing favorite activities (and even the not-so-favorite ones that simply need to get done).
Accordingly, we have patients who frequently ask, “how did my toenail become ingrown?”
Well, there are actually several different ways ingrown toenails develop:
- Inherited nail structure. We lead with this one simply because it tends to be the leading cause. In these cases, the core issue is a matter of unusually curved toenails.
- Physical trauma. Another way toenails become ingrown can be attributed to physical force, such as dropping something heavy on a foot or accidentally kicking something solid – like when playing indoor soccer and kicking the wall instead of the ball. For this reason, many ingrown toenails are on either the big or small toe (which are both on the edges of the foot).
- Improper nail trimming. Sometimes clipping toenails the wrong way—rounding them off and cutting them too short—can lead to an ingrown situation.
- Tight footwear. Less commonly, shoes that are too tight in the front lead to ingrown toenails, which is just one of the numerous reasons you need footwear that fits correctly!
This is a problem that can potentially affect virtually anyone who has toenails. If you or any of your family members is experiencing pain and discomfort from an ingrown toenail—or is diabetic and has developed one—contact our El Paso office by calling (915) 533-5151.