Ingrown Toenail - Treat & Prevent

Ingrown Toenail - How to Treat and Prevent


Ingrown toenails, medically known as onychocryptosis, usually is caused by trimming toenails too short.  Specifically, the area on the sides of the big toes is most commonly seen. Another cause of ingrown toenails may also be shoe pressure.  If a shoe is too tight or short pressure of skin against nail can cause the nail to ingrow.  Other less common causes are injury, fungal infections, heredity, or poor foot structure.

How do I know if I have an ingrown toenail?  Ingrown toenails occur when the corners or sides of the toenail dig into the skin, often causing infection.  This common ailment, can be extremely painful to both adults and children. Ingrown toenails start out hard, swollen, and tender. When left untreated, the nail area may become sore, red, and infected and the skin may start to grow over the ingrown toenail, which means it’s time for a trip to your Oakhurst, NJ Foot Doctor, Dr. Allison Cheney.

When treated early, most cases are simple to treat: soak the foot in warm, soapy water several times each day. Avoid wearing tight shoes or socks. Antibiotics are sometimes prescribed if an infection is present.  When left untreated for long periods of time the problem becomes severe. If an acute infection occurs, surgical removal of part of the ingrown toenail may be needed.  This treatment option is known as a partial nail avulsion, the procedure involves injecting the toe with an anesthetic and cutting out the ingrown part of the toenail.

How to Prevent Ingrown Toenail:

  • Trimming toenails straight across with no rounded corners.
  • Ensuring that shoes and socks are not too tight.
  • Keeping feet clean at all times.


This information is not meant as medical advice. It is provided solely for education. Our Monmouth County podiatry office in Oakhurst, New Jersey would be pleased to discuss your unique circumstances and needs as they relate to these topics.