Knowing what causes an ingrown toenail can help you avoid getting one. There are several causes. One is genetics—inheriting a naturally curved nail. Another is an injury, such as stubbing your toe or dropping something heavy on it, which pushes nail into the skin.
You may not be able to avoid these, but you can do something about other causes, such as tight shoes. Make sure the fronts of your shoes are wide enough that they don’t pinch the toes together or push on the sides. This is a common reason for a nail to curls under and grow into the skin, causing swelling, redness, pain, and possibly infection if the skin breaks. Tight socks can have the same effect.
You can also learn how to trim your nails properly. If you cut them too short, or the edges too far down, the skin can overgrow the nail and cause pain and swelling.
Try warm water soaks and gently lifting the edge to put a bit of clean, absorbent cotton under it. If it doesn’t get better, let Yuko Miyazaki, DPM treat it for you. Just call our podiatry office in Berkeley, CA at (510) 647-3744 for an appointment.