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Tel. (213) 484-0040

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Ingrown Toenail and Diabetes

Ingrown Toenails which are often painful are usually the result of trimming your toenails too short, particularly on the sides of your big toes.

One should avoid tapering the corners so that the nail curves with the shape of your toe. In the case of ingrown toenail , the sides of the nail curls down and digs into your skin. Shoes that are too tight or short may also cause that.

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 . In order to treat it:

Antibiotics are sometimes prescribed if an infection is present. In case of an acute infection, Part of your ingrown toenail (partial nail plate avulsion) may need to be surgically removed by administering a local anesthesia.

For additional information visit Ingrown toenails.


Ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of the nail grows down and into the skin of the toe. There may be pain, redness, and swelling around the nail.


If you have diabetes, have damage in the leg or foot, poor blood circulation to your foot, or an infection around the nail, go to the doctor right away. Do NOT try to treat this problem at home.

To treat an ingrown nail at home:

You may trim the toenail one time, if needed. When trimming your toenails:

Consider wearing sandals until the problem has gone away. over-the-counter medications that are placed over the ingrown toenail may help some with the pain but do not treat the problem.

If this does not work and the ingrown nail gets worse, see your family doctor, a foot specialist (podiatrist) or a skin specialist (dermatologist).

If your ingrown nail does not heal or keeps coming back, your doctor may remove part of the nail.

Sometimes your doctor will use a chemical, electrical current, or another small surgical cut to destroy or remove the area from which a new nail may grow. If the toe is infected, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.


Ingrown toenail can result from a number of things, but poorly fitting shoes and toenails that are not trimmed properly are the most common causes. The skin along the edge of a toenail may become red and infected. The great toe is usually affected, but any toenail can become ingrown.

Ingrown toenails may occur when extra pressure is placed on your toe. Most commonly, this pressure is caused by shoes that are too tight or too loose. If you walk often or participate in athletics, a shoe that is even a little tight can cause this problem. Some deformities of the foot or toes can also place extra pressure on the toe.

Nails that are not trimmed properly can also cause ingrown toenails.

Some people are born with nails that are curved and tend to grow downward. Others have toenails that are too large for their toes. Stubbing your toe or other injuries can also lead to an ingrown toenail.


An examination of the foot will show the following:

Tests or x-rays are usually not needed.


Treatment will generally control the infection and relieve pain. However, the condition is likely to return if measures to prevent it are not taken. Good foot care is important to prevent recurrence.

This condition may become serious in people with diabetes, poor circulation, and nerve problems (peripheral neuropathies).


Wear shoes that fit properly. Shoes that you wear every day should have plenty of room around your toes. Shoes that you wear for walking briskly or for running should have plenty of room also, but not be too loose.

When trimming your toenails:

Keep the feet clean and dry. People with diabetes should have routine foot exams and nail care.


In severe cases, the infection may spread through the toe and into the bone.

When to contact a doctor

Call your health Podiatrist if:

If you have diabetes, nerve damage in the leg or foot, poor blood circulation to your foot, or an infection around the nail, your risk for complications is higher. If you have diabetes, see your Podiatrist.

For more information visit Ingrown Toenail, to contact seek professional Podiatric consultation regading your Ingrown Toenail or any other foot related issue you may contact Dr. Kourosh Harounian at 213-484-0040 or visit Meet The Doctor page.