An ingrown toenail occurs when a nail curls, pieces and grows into the surrounding skin, resulting in a toe which is sore to touch due to pressure from shoes. Ingrown toenails are usually red and swollen appearance and can occur on any toe, but are most commonly observed on the big toe.

An ingrown toenail can be the result of:

  • Trauma
  • Genetics
  • Incorrect nail cutting technique
  • Poor biomechanics
  • Incorrectly fitted footwear

If an ingrown nail causes a break in the skin, bacteria may enter and cause an infection, which can lead to exudate (pus) draining from the area.