Andrew Boyle Podiatry

Ingrowing toe nail

There are several different things that can cause an ingrowing toe nail to develop.

An ingrowing toe nail can be caused by:Ingrowing toe nail

  • incorrectly cut toe nails
  • tight-fitting shoes, socks or tights
  • excessive sweating or poor foot hygiene
  • injury
  • nail infections
  • natural shape of the toe nail

These are described in more detail below.

Incorrectly cut toe nails

Badly cut toenails increase your risk of developing an ingrowing toe nail.

Cutting your toe nails too short, or cutting the edges, will encourage the surrounding skin to fold over your nail and the nail to grow into the skin.

Tight-fitting shoes, socks or tights

Wearing tight-fitting shoes, socks or tights places pressure on the skin around your toe nail.

If the skin is pressed onto the toe nail, it may be pierced. Tight-fitting footwear can also cause your toe nail to curve inwards towards your skin, resulting in an ingrowing toe nail.

Sweating or poor foot hygiene

The skin on your foot can become moist and soft through excessive sweating or from poor foot hygiene, such as not changing your socks regularly.

Having soft skin around your toe nails makes it easier for your nail to pierce the skin and embed itself within it.


Injuring your toe nail can sometimes cause an ingrowing toe nail to develop. For example, damage can occur if you stub your toe or if your nail is accidentally ripped off.

Nail infections

Sometimes, a toe nail can become thicker and wider if it has been affected by a fungal nail infection, such as athlete’s foot.

If your toe nail becomes brittle, pieces of nail may break off, making it easier for the nail to pierce the surrounding skin and for an ingrowing toe nail to develop.

Natural shape of your toe nail

If you have naturally curved or fan-shaped toe nails, your risk of developing an ingrowing toe nail is increased. This is because the sides of your nail are more likely to press into the nail fold (the skin surrounding the nail).


If you have an ingrowing toe nail, 0ur contact numbers can be found here.


We also have a range of other therapies on offer at our Healthpoint premises in Ainsdale, Formby and Maghull.

To visit the Healthpoint website click here.