An ingrown toenail is a toenail that grows into the surrounding skin or tissue of the toe. The toenail on the big toe is the one that is most commonly ingrown.
An ingrown toenail usually occurs as a result of improper nail trimming. If a nail is cut curved instead of straight across, it may grow into the flesh at the edge of the nail.
Nails may also become ingrown as a result of direct blows or from wearing shoes or boots that are too tight.
An area around the corners and edge of the toenail is painful. The toe may be swollen and red. There may be drainage. A toe with an ingrown toenail that becomes infected will be red and swollen and will have pus.
Your healthcare provider will examine your toe.
To treat this condition:
In some cases your healthcare provider may need to remove all or part of the ingrown nail. Your provider will use a numbing medicine before doing this. If your toe is infected, you may need to take antibiotics.
Your toe pain will start to improve as soon as the nail is removed.
You may return to your normal activities when you no longer have pain in your toe. It is important that your shoes fit well.