Michael Piccarelli, DPM
1478 Victory Blvd
Staten Island, New York 10301
(718) 273-0123




What Is an Ingrown Toenail?

When a toenail is ingrown, the nail is curved downward and grows into the skin, usually at the nail borders (the sides of the nail).  This “digging in” of the nail irritates the skin, often creating pain, redness, swelling and warmth in the toe.


If an ingrown nail causes a break in the skin, bacteria may enter and cause an infection in the area, which is often marked by drainage and a foul odor.  However, even if your toe isn’t painful, red, swollen, or warm, a nail that curves downward into the skin can progress into an infection.


What Causes an Ingrown Toenail?

·  In many people, the tendency to have this common disorder is inherited

·  The result of trauma

·  Repeated pressure on the toes, such as kicking or running

The most common cause of ingrown toenails is improper trimming.  Cutting your nails too short encourages the skin next to the nail to fold over the nail. 


Certain nail conditions are often associated with ingrown toenails.  For example, if you have had a toenail fungal infection or if you have lost a nail through trauma, you are at greater risk for developing an ingrown toenail.



Home treatment is strongly discouraged if you suspect you have an infection, or if you have a medical condition that puts your feet at high risk-for example, diabetes, nerve damage in the foot, or poor circulation.


Physician care:

Dr. Piccarelli will examine your toe and select the treatment best suited for you. Treatment may include:

·  Oral antibiotics

·  Surgery

·  Permanent removal


Preventing Ingrown Toenails

·  Trim your nails properly

·  Avoid poorly-fitting shoes

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