Ingrown Toenail Overview and Treatment

What is Ingrown Toenail

Ingrown toenail is when the toenail grows into the skin, usually at sides of the nail. Ingrown toenail irritates the skin, creating tenderness, redness, swelling and possibly an infection. Ingrown toenails in individuals with diabetes mellitus, poor circulation and / or immunocompromised can be very dangerous and they should seek immediate medical care.

Causes of Ingrown Toenail:

  • Heredity
  • Improper toenail trimming (do not cut toenails too short, do not round the corners)
  • Direct Trauma to the nail plate
  • Wear shoes that are too tight or too small
  • Nail Conditions.  Fungal infections or losing a nail due to trauma.

Ingrown Toenail Treatment (Conservative):

  • Trimming of nail (cut toenails straight across)
  • Soaking your foot in warm water with Epsom salt.
  • Antibiotics for infected ingrown nails
  • Trying a wedge resection of the ingrown corner

We strongly recommend you seek medical care if you are immunocompromised or have diabetes mellitus and / or poor circulation. Home treatment is strongly discouraged.

Surgical Treatment of Ingrown Toenail:

A foot and ankle specialist will select the treatment that is best suited for you. Most of the time a minor surgical procedure, often performed in the office, will ease the pain and remove the offending nail, acid may be applied to the nail root to prevent ingrown nail recurrence. If this procedure fails a more invasive procedure may be indicated, where the surgeon will remove the nail root surgically.