ZocdocAnswersCan wearing shoes that are too tight cause an ingrown toenail?

Question

Can wearing shoes that are too tight cause an ingrown toenail?

I'm pregnant and my feet are swollen. I haven't bought new shoes. I'm simply squeezing my feet into my old shoes. My toenail hurts, can I be developing an ingrown nail?

Answer

An ingrown toenail is a common, painful condition when your toenail is pressing or growing into the skin. I would suggest that you schedule a visit to a podiatrist to confirm or rule out your ingrown toenail. There are a number of things that can cause an ingrown toenail. Any toenail can become ingrown from pressure caused by ill-fitting shoes and socks that are too tight or too short as well as improper grooming and trimming of the nail. To relieve the pressure of your tight shoes, you may consider wearing sandals until the condition clears up. Without examining your toenail it is difficult to determine whether you have developed an ingrown toenail. Is there redness or swelling of the skin at the edge of the nail? At first an ingrown toenail may be hard, swollen and tender. It may then become red and infected, and feel very sore. Please visit your podiatrist and if your toenail is ingrown, it should be treated as soon as it is recognized before infection sets in. If there is an infection around the nail, your doctor will probably treat you with oral or topical antibiotics. In severe cases that if the infection spreads through the toe, your nail may need to partially or completely removed.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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