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Ingrown Toenail Treatment & Home Remedies

By HERWriter
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An ingrown toenail is a common condition in which the corner or side of one of your toenails grows into the soft flesh of that toe. Signs and symptoms of an ingrown toenail 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 and infection of the tissue around your toenail.

Common causes of an ingrown toenail include wearing shoes that crowd your toes, cutting your toenails too short or not straight across, injury to your toenail or unusually curved toenails.

Left untreated or undetected, an ingrown toenail can infect the underlying bone and lead to a serious bone infection.

Often, you can take care of ingrown toenails on your own (see home remedies below). However, if the pain is severe or spreading, your doctor can take steps to relieve your discomfort and help you avoid complications of an ingrown toenail.

If you have diabetes or another condition that causes poor circulation to your feet, you're at greater risk of complications from an ingrown toenail. Complications can be especially severe if you have diabetes because the circulation and nerve supply to your feet can be impaired. Therefore, any relatively minor injury to your foot (cut, scrape, corn, callus or ingrown toenail) may not heal properly and lead to infection. A difficult-to-heal open sore (foot ulcer) may require surgery to prevent gangrene (the decay and death of tissue resulting from an interruption in blood flow to a certain area of your body).

You can typically treat ingrown toenails through lifestyle and home remedies, such as soaking your foot regularly in warm water and applying an antibiotic cream. If pain continues or there's pus or redness that seems to be spreading, see your doctor. You may need to have part of the nail removed and antibiotics prescribed for infection. See your doctor if you experience severe discomfort in your toe or pus or redness that seems to be spreading, have diabetes or any circulation impairment to your lower extremities and experience any foot-sore or infection.

Possible medical ingrown toenail treatments include:

Cotton under nail.

Add a Comment1 Comments

Thanks for the great article! I'm keeping my fingers crossed because I haven't had an ingrown toe nail in a very long time (ever since I read that you should ALWAYS cut your nails straight across). My husband still gets them due to the nature of his job and wearing closed-toed shoes for 12-14 hours straight on his feet. Since changing his shoes he has not had an ingrown nail but at least now we know how to fix this annoying little problem without having to wait till the ingrown nail grows out of the irritating spot.

Thanks again MC!

March 23, 2010 - 1:34pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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