Poor footwear and badly-trimmed nails are the primary causes of onychocryptosis, or ingrown nail. It occurs when the nail (most often the toenail) grows abnormally and cuts into the nail bed. Improper footwear, particularly shoes that fit too tightly at the toes, is most often the cause of this nail disease. Other causes include (1) socks or stockings that cause excessive pressure around the nails; (2) a damp or wet atmosphere to which the toes are exposed while in the shoe; (3) genetics; and (4) trauma or disease. Improper cutting of the nail may also cause it to grow inward.
Ingrown toenail is a condition in which nails of a toe, particularly in the big toe, grows such a way that sharp corners of the toe edges grow into the flesh at the side of the nails. Ingrown toenails cause pain and inflammation in the toe. The pain varies in severity depending on the extent to which the nail digs in the flesh. This area can get infected also causing further pain and problems, including abscess.
The causes of ingrown toe nails include:
- Tight fitting shoes or shoes with high heals.
- Improper trimming of toe nails.
- Fungal infection of the toe nails
- In injury or repetitive impact on the toes, for example the impact caused by kicking a football.
- Shape of toes and the toe nails. This is influenced by heredity. Thus some people may have greater tendency to have ingrown toenails.