Ingrown toenails are frequently caused by improper nail trimming, but also by shoe pressure, injury, fungus infection, heredity and poor foot structure. Women are much more likely to have ingrown toenails than men. While they are common, ingrown toenails can be painful. When trimming your nails, avoid tapering the corners so that the nail curves with the shape of your toe. The sides of the nail will curl down and dig into your skin. Instead trim them straight across.
Ingrown toenail start out hard, swollen and tender, and later, may become sore, red and infected. Your skin may start to grow over the ingrown toenail. Soaking your foot in warm, soapy water several times each day is usually a good way to treat an ingrown nail. Part of your ingrown toenail may need to be surgically removed if an acute infection occurs. Contact a podiatrist to determine the best course of treatment for your condition.