Tuesday, 19 December 2023 00:00

Types of Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails, a common foot ailment responsible for approximately 20 percent of podiatric visits, can be attributed to a variety of causes. Among these, improper nail trimming plays a significant role, as cutting nails too short or rounding them incorrectly encourages ingrowth. Wearing tight shoes or high heels that exert pressure on the toes is another prevalent cause. Trauma to the toe, such as injuries, can also contribute to the formation of an ingrown toenail. Three main types of ingrown toenails are categorized by their location on the toe. The lateral ingrown toenail, occurring most frequently, involves the side of the nail edge growing into the skin at the sides of the toe. A distal ingrown toenail can occur when the nail edge grows or curls into the skin at the end of the toe, where the top of the nail meets the skin. Proximal ingrown toenails happen when the nail grows into the skin at the base of the toe, near the cuticle area. This type is characterized by new toenail growth pushing the old nail upwards, causing it to become thick and embedded. Avoiding excessive shortcuts and wearing well-fitted footwear can significantly diminish the risk of ingrown toenails. In instances of persistent discomfort or suspected ingrown toenails, seeking professional advice from a podiatrist is suggested. Podiatrists possess the expertise to accurately diagnose the issue, determine the severity and type of ingrown toenail, and suggest suitable treatment options. 

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 David A. Edmonds, DPM of Advanced Podiatry Associates. Our doctor 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 Northampton and Allentown, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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