Ingrown Toenail Treatment

What Causes an Ingrown Toenail?

There are a few things that could cause someone to have an ingrown toenail including:


Improper nail trimming

The most common cause of ingrown toenails would probably be cutting them too short. When they are too short the skin next to the nail is more likely to fold over the nail.

Poor fitting footwear

Shoes and socks that are too tight or short pushes on the nail and can cause it to dig into the surrounding skin.

Inherited Ingrown Toenails

For some people, the tendency to develop ingrown toenails is inherited.

Nail Trauma

Sometimes an ingrown toenail develops after an injury to the toe. Potential ingrown nail causing injuries include a stubbed toe and heavy objects falling on the toe. Partaking in activities that involve repeated pressure on the toes, such as kicking a soccer ball or running, can also result in an ingrown toenail.

Nail Problems

Various nail afflictions, like fungal infections or losing a nail from trauma, can cause the nail to become ingrown.

Developing Ingrown on Your Toenails?

Schedule an appointment with one of our friendly foot doctors.

Ingrown Toenail Treatment

Some people can successfully treat an ingrown toenail at home. However, we strongly discourage in home care if there is a suspected infection, or for people who have medical conditions such as diabetes, nerve damage of the foot, or poor circulation.

Patients without the above conditions can try soaking their foot in room-temperature water with Epsom’s salt and gently rub the side of the nail fold to help reduce inflammation.

If you choose to care for your ingrown nail at home, there are a few “treatments” that should be avoided. You should not cut a notch in the nail. It does not reduce the tendency for the nail to curve. You should also avoid trimming the nail borders repeatedly. This does not change how the nail grows and can, in fact, worsen the condition. Finally, don’t place cotton under the nail. It does little to relieve pain and provides the perfect place for bacteria to grow, which could lead to an infection. You should also be aware that topical, over-the-counter medications may mask the pain, but they do not resolve the problem.


If home care is not working, or you develop an infection it is time to seek help from one of the friendly foot doctors at Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle.

We will examine the toe and select the treatment that is best suited for your needs. If you have an infection, it is likely that an oral antibiotic will be prescribed.

For some patients, we will perform a minor surgical procedure in the office that will ease the pain and remove the offending nail. Following the procedure, a light bandage will be applied. Most patients can return to their normal activity the next day. If you are prescribed an antibiotic, use it as directed and take all the medication, even if your symptoms have improved.

Make an Appointment Today!

When you have foot or ankle problems – you don’t want just anyone. Call on the friendly experienced foot doctors at Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle. We specialize in treating foot and ankle pain or injuries of all varieties.

Meridian Office

2667 E. Gala Court, Suite 130, Meridian, Idaho 83642

Caldwell Office

1818 10th Ave Suite 250, Caldwell Idaho 83605

Monday - Thursday

8am - 5pm


8am - 3pm