How to Spot the Early Signs of Ingrown Toenails

Recognizing the early signs of an ingrown toenail can help you to avoid more serious complications by getting quicker treatment. One of the first signs is tenderness or pain along the edge of the toenail. You may feel it most when you walk or apply pressure to the area. As the condition progresses, redness and swelling may develop around the affected toenail, indicating inflammation and potential infection. The skin along the edge of the nail may become irritated or appear puffy. If there is pus or discharge appearing at the edge of the nail, the ingrown toenail has likely become infected. If you have an ingrown toenail, or struggle with recurrent ingrown toenails, it is suggested you consult a podiatrist who can effectively treat the condition and prevent complications from arising. 

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 Craig Foster, DPM of Traction Podiatry Group. Our practitioner 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
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 office located in Gilbert, AZ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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