Toenail Pain [Toenail Fungus, Ingrown Toenails, Discolored Toenails]

Impacted Toenail Treatment [Impacted Toenail vs. Ingrown Toenail]

Do you have an impacted toenail? We go over the differences between an impacted toenail vs. an ingrown toenail. Then we FIX IT!

Michigan Podiatrist House Calls & Home visits
There are many different types of toenail problems. The fancy name for an ingrown toenail is called onychocryptosis. In our experience there is a lot of overlap between all of these toenail conditions especially toenail fungus leading to ingrown toenails and then eventually to impacted toenails.

Impacted toenail vs. ingrown toenail:

  • Suppose you have an impacted toenail. This means that the root may be dislodged or jammed backward into the toenail.
  • An impacted toenail can be thought of as a toenail that is jammed backward into the toenail root.
  • If this is the case, we may have to perform a total nail removal to allow your entire nail to grow back.
  • This will require some anesthetic, but it can be performed in the office.

Impacted vs. ingrown toenail diagnosis:

  • This diagnosis is most easily made by seeing if the toenail is loose.
  • An impacted toenail will usually be loose and show dried blood or red blood underneath the toenail.
  • It could even just be a clear nail if it dislodged over time.
  • If you are worried about an impacted toenail versus an ingrown toenail, schedule an appointment with the podiatrist, have a professional evaluated, and take great care of your foot.

Impacted toenail treatment:

  • An impacted toenail is very difficult to treat at home.
  • In our experience, the best treatment is to anesthetize the toe and remove the toenail.
  • We think that this is a prevalent cause of toenail fungus for most people.
  • If the toenail is impacted and avulsed from the tissue underneath the nail, it is no longer receiving blood flow.
  • If this toenail is no longer receiving blood flow, it is basically like a thick skin flake on top of your toe.
  • This is, unfortunately, a good home for bacteria and fungus.
  • This could lead to an impacted toenail infection, and it can be challenging to clean this impacted toenail.
  • Studies show that proper treatment by a podiatrist can be very effective.

Impacted toenail cleaning:

  • In our experience, we do not believe impacted toenail cleaning is worth it.
  • As we mentioned above, this nail will likely not grow back if the blood flow is severed.
  • It is best to get seen by a toenail specialist like a podiatrist or foot doctor and get this toenail safely and effectively removed.
  • In this way, it can be tough to fix and impacted the toenail because it is essentially ripped off dead tissue.
  • But if it is removed safely, then the new nail can grow back within a few months.

Impacted toenail removal:

  • We perform impacted toenail removal surgery almost daily.
  • We believe that this is a very effective and safe treatment that yields outstanding results.
  • Once in the office, this procedure can be performed within about 15-20 minutes, with minimal downtime afterward.
  • Having an impacted toenail removed can sometimes feel much better at the end of the first day than before having the procedure done.
  • This is our experience with most of our patients.
Deep horizontal ridge in the toenail or dent in the toenail.
If an impacted toenail is not treated, then the root of the toenail can become detached. This first starts with dry blood and eventually becomes infected with toenail fungus. In our experience patients can prevent this by having accurate diagnosis by a specialist like a podiatrist and proper treatment of the toenail.

Impacted Toenail & Toenail Fungus Treatment Video:

This video goes over how to treat thicken and detached toenails. If you can help treat your toenail fungus, this will lead to a much better chance of reducing any toenail impact problems.

Frequently asked questions:

How to fix and impacted toenail?

  • It can be difficult to fix and impacted toenails once as they have become impacted.
  • This means that the toenail has ripped free from the tissue underneath it. It may be a good idea to see her podiatrist at this point.

Is an impacted toenail the same as an early ingrown toenail?

  • An impacted toenail is a little bit different from than ingrown toenail.
  • But in early ingrown toenails can lift up and eventually cause an impacted toenail.
  • An impacted toenail is usually from something pressing against the longer toenail and jamming it back into the root or lifting it.

Are impacted toenails bad?

  • If this skin and the blood supply are disrupted underneath this, then it can lead to toenail fungus or infection.
  • We think this is very underrated because of the toenail fungus.

Can toenail fungus lead to an impacted toenail?

  • We do see a high correlation between thick toenail fungus leading to impacted toenails.
  • It is generally a good idea to treat your toenail fungus as quickly as possible to prevent further problems such as ingrown toenails or impacted toenails.

What causes impacted toenails?

  • The most common causes of impacted toenails are toenail fungus, chronic rubbing of the toenail through walking or running.
  • We do see a high correlation between toenail fungus and impacted toenails.
  • Toenail fungus can cause the toenail to become thick, brittle, and lucent. This can then cause the toenail to become impacted.
  • If you do not have toenail fungus, you are likely an active person who either stopped jamming or bumped their big toe.
  • It is also common for people who are on their feet all day standing walking, or running to have impacted toenails that Jim back into the root of the nail.

Toenail Fungus Picture Gallery:

This gallery shows different types of toenail fungus.


So click on the photos for gallery mode & description!

« of 2 »

Click on pictures for full size & descriptions:

Toenail services our podiatrists provide:


Other in office surgeries podiatrists provide: