Ingrown toenail (Onychocryptosis)

Is one of your toes causing you severe discomfort and inhibiting your mobility?  You may have an ingrown toenail.  This is a common type of nail disease. It is an extremely painful condition where the edge of the nail curves into the soft tissue that encases the nail. While this condition is most commonly seen in toes, they can occur with any nail. This can cause discomfort and eventually lead to severe pain and infection if left untreated.

Picture of Ingrown Toenail

colorado foot institute ingrown toenails

Causes of an Ingrown Toenail

An ingrown toenail may be caused by several things.  A main cause for an ingrown toenail is ill fitting footwear. Constricting shoes that do not fit properly can guide the growth of your nails in a potentially harmful way.

Bad maintenance of the toenail or a bad pedicure can also contribute; toenails should be cut straight across and not too short. Genetic predisposition and severe trauma can also create an environment that is conducive to this condition.


Tell tale signs of an ingrown toenail are pain and discomfort along the sides of the toenail, and increased pain and discomfort around the nail when even the slightest pressure is applied. This pain can become excruciating if the condition is not properly treated and can inhibit many daily activities due to the intensity of pain caused by any form of pressure. Other symptoms may include swelling of your toe, redness, infected drainage, and the area is warm to touch.


Ingrown toenails generally occur on the big toe, but any nail can be affected by this condition. Ingrown toenails can be avoided by cutting the nail straight across.  Be careful not to cut the nail shorter than the surrounding flesh or at a curve. Some nails naturally grow at a curve and this may require the nail to be cut back further than what someone might try at home. If this is the case, then a simple procedure is required and can be completed in our office.

Ingrown Toenail Treatment

There are numerous ways of treating ingrown toenails ranging from soaking the toe to actual surgery. The method of treatment will actually depend on the severity of the condition. If you are bleeding or experiencing a pus-like discharge from the toe while applying pressure, it is advised you visit Colorado Foot Institute.  Waiting to see if the condition will heal itself has a low rate of success, can be extremely painful, may cause the infection to worsen and further complicate the affected toe.

We can help

Dr. Mechanik is Board Certified in Foot Surgery and Board Certified in Reconstructive Rear Foot and Ankle surgery. He has the medical and surgical skills to treat your foot conditions. He and his family are natives of the Denver area and opened Colorado Foot Institute in 2006.

Dr. Mechanik received his Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree from the the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine which is part of the Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, a national leader in medical education.

Dr. Mechanik then went on to complete a twenty-four month post-graduate Residency training program in Foot and Ankle Surgery and a twenty-four month surgical Fellowship training program in Lower Extremity Musculoskeletal Surgery.

Dr. Mechanik is a Fellow of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons and a  Diplomate, American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery.  He is Board Certified in Foot Surgery and Reconstructive Rearfoot/Ankle Surgery.

Call Colorado Foot Institute and start feeling better! (303) 333-3383

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Dr. Joseph Mechanik is Certified by

American Podiatric Medical Associations
American Professionals Wound Care Association
American Board of Podiatric Surgery
American Collage of Foot and Ankle Surgeons