An ingrown toenail is one of the most common nail complaints. This condition is caused by excessive growth of the nail sideways, into the nail fold, resulting in inflammation and pain. Extended periods of pressure can cause irritation of the skin, swelling, infection, and pain. Ingrown nails are seen mainly in the big toes of people in industrialized environments.
A common factor that can lead to an ingrown nail is the abnormality of the soft tissue on the side of the nail. Certain rare diseases can cause a laxity of the skin, but the most common soft tissue abnormality is that seen with tight-fitting shoes. The shoes cause overcrowding of the toes pushing the soft tissue against the edge of the nail. Another common factor that can lead to ingrown toenails is nail abnormalities. Improperly cutting the toenail by cutting it short and curved, can cause the nail edges to turn in.