- You still have redness, pain, and swelling
- The redness, pain, and swelling are very bad -- especially if you have a fever
- The redness and swelling is spreading up the toe or foot
- You have diabetes and have an ingrown toenail
1 AnswerIntermountain Healthcare answeredIf you have an ingrown toenail, call or go to the doctor or clinic if:
1 AnswerSmall changes in your daily habits will ease the pain and speed the healing of an ingrown toenail. Your doctor may recommend that you wear comfortable, loose-fitting shoes, such as sandals, or go barefoot as much as possible while an ingrown toenail is healing. Your doctor may also recommend soaking your affected foot in warm water several times a day, but keeping it dry otherwise. If you have frequent or recurring ingrown toenails, be sure to see your doctor or dermatologist for advice and treatment.
1 AnswerThere are several ways to protect your children from ingrown toenails:
- Make sure your children's shoes are not too tight and their toes have ample room. Children should be able to wiggle their toes somewhat in the toe box.
- Trim your children's toenails straight across, leaving the edges square. Sharp corners can be smoothed with an emery board. Tapered or rounded nail edges can cause nails to become ingrown.
- Monitor your children's toes carefully, if you are prone to ingrown toenails. (Children may inherit a tendency for ingrown toenails from their parents.) An ingrown toenail that is caught before infection sets in is much easier to treat.
1 AnswerDoctors recommend treating ingrown toenails quickly to avoid pain and the spread of infection. If you have an ingrown toenail, talk to your doctor about the best way to treat it. You may also want to soak your foot in warm water several times a day and wear comfortable, loose-fitting shoes, such as sandals, while your toenail is healing. If you continue to have trouble, talk to your doctor about surgical treatment options.
1 AnswerIngrown toenails are a common, treatable condition, but they can be quite painful and should be treated as soon as possible.
Ingrown toenails occur when the side of your toenail, often on the big toe, grows into the skin of your toe, or when the skin grows over the nail. Trimming the sides of your toenails too short, or rounding them at the edges, can cause ingrown toenails, as can wearing too-tight shoes that pinch your toes. Sometimes a foot injury can also cause a nail to become ingrown. Some people are simply more susceptible to ingrown toenails than others.
Your doctor may recommend that you treat ingrown toenails with at-home remedies, or may advise prescription treatment. In severe cases and/or in the event of infection, surgery may be required. Ask your doctor or dermatologist for more information.
2 AnswersChristopher Chiodo, MD, Orthopedic Surgery, answeredIngrown toenails can become chronic, occurring over and over again. If so, your doctor may decide to remove the part of the nail that's been causing the problem. This office procedure can be done with chemicals rather than with a scalpel, so you can avoid a trip to the operating room. Even with treatment, this condition can cause permanent changes to the nail bed.
4 AnswersAn ingrown toenail happens when the edge of the nail curves inward toward the skin and puts pressure on the skin or punctures it. The main symptoms include:
- pain or tenderness where the nail meets the skin at the corners
- swelling and/or redness of the skin in that area
- pus oozing from the area
3 AnswersYou can prevent ingrown toenails by avoiding wearing shoes that are too small or that pinch your toes (a common culprit of ingrown toenails) and by trimming your nails straight across, rounding the edges of the nails only slightly if at all. Some people, however, are simply born with a tendency to develop ingrown toenails. If you have an ingrown toenail, talk with your doctor about how to treat it before it leads to infection.
Treatment of an ingrown fingernail depends upon how severe it is. Conservative treatments of mild to moderate cases include warm water and soap, antibacterial ointments, cutting part of the nail if able, or using an item such as dental floss to provide a tract along which the nail can grow. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove part or the entire nail.
(This answer provided for NATA by the Eastern University Athletic Training Education Program.)