Ingrown Toe Nails

ingrown toenail, or unguis incarnatus is a common form of nail disease. It is an often painful condition in which the nail grows so that it cuts into one or both sides of the paronychium or nail bed.

This condition has been found only in shoe-wearing cultures and does not occur in habitually barefoot people since it requires downward pressure on the nail by a shoe.

Causes may include:

Shoes cause bunching of the toes in the developmental stages of the

foot (frequently in those under 21), which can cause the nail to curl and

dig into the skin.


This is particularly the case in ill-fitting shoes that are

too narrow or too short, but any toed shoes may cause an ingrown nail.


Bad nail-care, including cutting the nail too short, rounded off at the tip

or peeled off at the edges instead of being cut straight across[8]


Trauma to the nail plate or toe, which can occur by stubbing the toenail,

dropping things on the toe or going through the end of the shoes (as

during sports or other vigorous activity), can cause the flesh to become

injured and the nail to grow irregularly and press into the flesh

Predisposition, such as abnormally shaped nail beds, nail deformities

caused by diseases, or a genetic susceptibility gives rise to a higher

chance of an ingrown nail, but the ingrowth cannot occur without

pressure from a shoe.


Ingrown toenails may be the result of a bacterial infection, treatable with antibiotics.

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