Tuesday, 27 February 2024 00:00

How to Tell if an Ingrown Toenail Is Infected

Besides pain and annoyance, ingrown toenails are also at risk of developing an infection, especially if left untreated. Redness, swelling, and increased pain surrounding an ingrown nail edge can all be signs of an infection. The toe could also become warm to the touch and emit discharge or pus where the ingrown toenail is, which are further indications of infection. Additionally, consistent discomfort or throbbing pain, even when not applying pressure to the toe, can suggest an infection. Ingrown toenail infections can escalate if left untreated, so it is important to treat them properly. If you suspect an infection caused by an ingrown toenail, it is suggested that you seek prompt treatment from a podiatrist. 

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact one of our podiatrists of Cleveland Foot & Ankle Clinic. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when a toenail grows sideways into the bed of the nail, causing pain, swelling, and possibly infection.


  • Bacterial infections
  • Improper nail cutting such as cutting it too short or not straight across
  • Trauma to the toe, such as stubbing, which causes the nail to grow back irregularly
  • Ill-fitting shoes that bunch the toes too close together
  • Genetic predisposition


Because ingrown toenails are not something found outside of shoe-wearing cultures, going barefoot as often as possible will decrease the likeliness of developing ingrown toenails. Wearing proper fitting shoes and using proper cutting techniques will also help decrease your risk of developing ingrown toenails.


Ingrown toenails are a very treatable foot condition. In minor cases, soaking the affected area in salt or antibacterial soaps will not only help with the ingrown nail itself, but also help prevent any infections from occurring. In more severe cases, surgery is an option. In either case, speaking to your podiatrist about this condition will help you get a better understanding of specific treatment options that are right for you.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our offices located in Cleveland, Independence, and Kent, OH . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Ingrown Toenail Care

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