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When Do You Need Surgery for an Ingrown Toenail?

Tuesday, 08 November 2022 00:00

An ingrown toenail happens when the top corner or side of a toenail grows into the skin next to it. It is most common on the big toe. Usually, ingrown toenails occur from wearing shoes that are too tight, cutting toenails too short, or a toenail injury. They can be painful, especially if the nail is pressed on. This condition can often be treated at home by soaking the foot in warm water and dislodging the nail from the skin with a cotton swab, but sometimes medical intervention is necessary. If treating the ailment at home does not work, one repeatedly gets ingrown toenails, or one develops an infection or some other complication, surgery might be needed. Those who have diabetes, or another medical condition, are more apt to need surgery for ingrown toenails. Part or all of the affected nails may need to be removed during the process. If you have an ingrown toenail that is not resolving itself, seek the counsel of a podiatrist who can perform surgery or do whatever else is necessary to take care of the problem. 

Ingrown toenails can become painful if they are not treated properly. For more information about ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Waymon Lewis of Weatherford Podiatry Clinic. Our doctor 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 office located in Weatherford, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.

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