Back to Sports and …. Ingrown Toenails

Published: February 25, 2021

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The resuming of afterschool sports and activities is welcome news for millions of young people across the U.S. Ramping up workouts gradually is always a good idea, and proper footwear is a must. Young people – prone to growth spurts –  don’t always recognize when their soccer cleats or ballet slippers are too tight. Add that to repetitive pressure on the toe (for example from running or kicking) and the result could be an ingrown toenail.

Ingrown toenails are a common condition, affecting people of all ages. With an ingrown toenail, the corner or side of the nail grows in the flesh.(1) Symptoms include:

  • Pain and tenderness in your toe along one or both sides of the nail
  • Redness around your toenail
  • Swelling of your toe around the nail
  • Infection of the tissue around your toenail(1)

Often ingrown toenails can be treated conservatively, at home, with soaking the foot in warm water with Epsom salt.(2) A podiatrist may perform a chemical matrixectomy, which is the most successful treatment. Phenol is often used for chemical matrixectomy. The recurrence rate is low.(3)

For providers or hospitals looking for phenol for their podiatry clinics, visit our phenol topical solution page.


(1) Mayo Clinic, Ingrown Toenails,
(2) Cleveland Clinic, How to Prevent and Treat Ingrown Toenails,
(3) Terzi, E. et al Indian Dermatology Online Journal, The Effectiveness of Matrix Cauterization with Trichloroacetic Acid in the Treatment of Ingrown Toenails