Signs of an Ingrown Toenail

An ingrown toenail, a common yet uncomfortable condition, occurs when the edge of a toenail grows into the surrounding skin. This often happens on the big toenail. Typical signs include redness and swelling around the affected area, and pain and tenderness when pressure is applied to the toe. More severe cases may involve an infection, which is often indicated by pus or fluid buildup. Some people might also notice the skin next to the nail becoming harder or the nail itself appearing overly curved or thickened. These symptoms not only cause discomfort but can also restrict footwear choices and make walking or standing painful. Recognizing these signs early is important for seeking appropriate treatment to prevent the condition from worsening and to alleviate the discomfort it causes. If you are suffering from an ingrown toenail, it is suggested you make an appointment with a podiatrist, a foot doctor who can effectively treat this condition. 

Ingrown toenails may initially present themselves as a minor discomfort, but they may progress into an infection in the skin without proper treatment. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of InStride Family Foot Care. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. They often result in redness, swelling, pain, and in some cases, infection. This condition typically affects the big toe and may recur if it is not treated properly.


  • Improper toenail trimming
  • Genetics
  • Improper shoe fitting
  • Injury from pedicures or nail picking
  • Abnormal gait
  • Poor hygiene

You are more likely to develop an ingrown toenail if you are obese, have diabetes, arthritis, or have any fungal infection in your nails. Additionally, people who have foot or toe deformities are at a higher risk of developing an ingrown toenail.


Some symptoms of ingrown toenails are redness, swelling, and pain. In rare cases, there may be a yellowish drainage coming from the nail.


Ignoring an ingrown toenail can have serious complications. Infections of the nail border can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection, which can then turn into a bone infection. You should always speak with your podiatrist if you suspect you have an ingrown toenail, especially if you have diabetes or poor circulation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Concord, Charlotte, and Salisbury, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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