An ingrown toenail is the result of the sharp edge of a nail growing
into the flesh of a toe. It usually happens to the great (big) toe.
It is more likely to happen if the nail is more curved than normal,
the nail is trimmed back too far, shoes are too tight or do not fit
properly or your manner of walking or standing jams the toe
Symptoms may include:
WHAT YOUR DOCTOR CAN DO:
• Surgically remove the nail in the office
• Scrape the nail bed to prevent recurrence
• Prescribe antibiotics to treat or prevent infection
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
• See your doctor rather than try to trim the ingrown nail yourself.
• Take all of prescribed antibiotics to fight infection.
• Soak the toe (both before and after removal); gently lift the
corner of the nail away from the tissue, and place a tiny piece of
cotton material under the corner. DO NOT force the nail if it will
not come up easily.
• Take over-the-counter pain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen
(Advil, Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) for discomfort.
• Follow any further instructions on nail and toe care that your
doctor gives you.
• Cut toenails straight across and not too short.
• Prevent ingrown nails by wearing properly sized, well-fitting
• If you have diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, or other
problems with circulation or feeling in your feet, take special
precautions or see your doctor for foot care.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT:
• Antibiotics should relieve infection in about a week.
• It may be necessary to wear open-toed shoes while nail heals.
• The nail may take some time to grow back or may not grow back.
• It may look different from your other nails.
CALL 1061 OR SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL
ASSISTANCE If you have signs of infection following