Can Ingrown Toenails Become Infected?

Monday, 04 June 2018 00:00

An ingrown toenail can become infected if treatment is not started as soon as possible. It may lead to open sores on the foot, loss of blood flow and tissue decay. This condition typically develops when the corners of the toenail cut into the surrounding skin, causing discomfort and pain. Research has shown trimming the toenails straight across may prevent ingrown toenails from forming. Additionally, wearing shoes and socks that fit properly and cutting the nails to a proper length may aid in the prevention of developing this condition. Soaking the toe in warm water frequently during the day will help the toe feel more comfortable and relief may be noticed in a few weeks. For serious toenail infections, surgery may be an option which generally consists of a partial removal of the nail. A consultation with a podiatrist is suggested if you are afflicted with this condition, and would like additional information about how to properly treat ingrown toenails.

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of Florida Foot & Ankle Group, P.A.. Our doctors 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 one of our offices located in Apopka, Debary, Lake Mary, and Orlando, FL. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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