Symptoms of an Ingrown Toenail

An ingrown toenail doesn't sound like a serious issue. However, it can cause you a great deal of pain and make it difficult for you to wear certain shoes. Not to mention, not all of them grow out, and infection is possible. Fortunately, our team of podiatrists from Cascade Foot & Ankle, serving Salem, OR, and the nearby region, can assist. It helps to understand the symptoms.

General Information

Ingrown toenails occur when the side of the toenail grows into the skin. If you cut your toenails crookedly or too short, you're more likely to develop an ingrown toenail. 

You're also more likely to develop one if you wear shoes that crowd your toes or have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes. 

Visibly Can See the Toenail 

One of the easiest ways to tell if you have an ingrown toenail is by looking and seeing that the toenail is growing into the flesh. 

Pain and Tenderness

Because the toenail is invading the neighboring skin, it may cause pain. That area of skin may feel tender to the touch. 


You may notice that the toenail is causing the area of skin around it to swell. This is a natural response to trauma to the skin. It occurs because the body sends white blood cells and fluid to the region to help with the healing process and prevent further injury. 


Since the toenail severed the skin, it made it a possible location for bacteria to enter and cause an infection. When you have an infection, you may have a great deal of pain and discomfort. You may notice that pus is coming from the location. Rather than just at the location of the ingrown toenail, you might also have inflammation that's appearing to spread. 

Overgrown Skin

You may notice that you have overgrown skin on the tip of your toe. It could also appear on the side of your nail. 


In some cases, you may notice blood coming from where the toenail went into the skin. Due to the fact that the bleeding will be minimal, you can usually stop the bleeding by applying pressure. Those with a bleeding disorder or who take certain medications may experience more severe bleeding that's more difficult to stop. 

Cascade Foot & Ankle's Dr. Tippets, Dr. Rich, Dr. Westover, and Dr. Beirdneau provide Salem, OR, and the general vicinity, with an option for ingrown toenail treatment. While medical intervention isn't usually necessary, it's important to monitor your symptoms, see if they're going away, and evaluate yourself for signs of an infection.

Call our office today at (503) 588-8188.

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