Chronic Cases of Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails can become chronic if left untreated. Causes can include improper nail trimming, wearing tight footwear, obesity, trauma, excessive sweating, fungal infections, and hormonal changes. Symptoms encompass pain, swelling, redness, and pus formation. Classification into three stages guides treatment decisions, with conservative measures recommended for mild cases. Conservative approaches include proper nail trimming, wearing roomy shoes, and using gauze or specialized materials to separate the nail from the flesh. Surgical intervention becomes necessary for stages two and three, involving either partial or total nail removal and destruction of the lateral matrix to prevent regrowth. Regular podiatry care and adherence to post-treatment protocols are necessary for successful management of ingrown toenails. If you have repeated experience with ingrown toenails, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for an evaluation of the stage you are experiencing, in addition to obtaining proper treatment.

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 Carolina Foot & Ankle Specialists. 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 Mount Pleasant and Charleston, SC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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