Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails may seem inconsequential – until you are suffering from one yourself. Then, you realize just how painful and disruptive they can be. Below, the team at Cumberland Valley Foot and Ankle Specialists in Mechanicsburg, PA, share what causes an ingrown toenail, prevention tips, and what to do if you are living with one.

Causes and Prevention of Ingrown Toenails

A toenail becomes ingrown when it grows into the skin instead of straight out. It leads to swelling, redness, discomfort, and – at times – infection.

What causes the nail to grow into the skin can vary. For some people, it’s simply due to the shape of their toenails. Injuries to the toe can also play a role.

In most cases, though, it is due to actions. For example, wearing shoes that fit your feet too tightly – especially around the toes – can cause the nail to grow incorrectly. Also, cutting toenails too short or curved is a common cause.

Though you can’t control everything, you can greatly reduce the likelihood of developing ingrown toenails by:

  • Wearing shoes that give your feet plenty of space
  • Avoiding shoes with heels that are too high
  • Cutting your nails straight across but not too short

Treatment for Ingrown Toenails

When caught early enough, you can typically relieve your suffering by soaking your feet in warm water for about 20 minutes. Then, place a small piece of cotton beneath it to encourage the nail to grow straight.

If your ingrown toenail has become infected, or you’ve been dealing with it for more than a few days, it’s best to seek the help of your podiatrist. They can prescribe antibiotics if infection is present. It might also be necessary to remove part or all of the nail through a simple, outpatient procedure.

Keep in mind that if you have diabetes or any other medical condition that impacts your nerves or blood flow, you shouldn’t wait to seek help or attempt to treat it on your own. Let your podiatrist assess and address it, instead.

Don’t let an ingrown toenail keep you off your feet. Visit the team at Cumberland Valley Foot and Ankle Specialists in Mechanicsburg, PA, by calling (717) 761-3161 to schedule an appointment. 


5148 East Trindle Road,
Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania 17050




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8:00 AM-5:00 pm


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