Ingrown nailsare nails whose corners or sides dig painfully into the soft tissue of nail grooves, often leading to irritation, redness, and swelling. It is the most common nail impairment. Usually toenails grow straight out. However, sometimes one or both corners or sides curve and grow into the flesh. The big toe is the most common location for this condition, but other toes can also become affected.
“Do-it-yourself” treatments, including any attempt to remove any part of an infected nail or the use of over-the-counter medications, should be avoided. Nail problems should be evaluated and treated by your podiatrist, who can diagnose the ailment, and then prescribe medication or another appropriate treatment.
WHEN TO SEE YOUR PODIATRIST
You should see a podiatrist immediately if any drainage or excessive redness is present around the toenail. Also, if a short trial of home treatment has not resulted in improvement of the condition, see your podiatrist. If ingrown nails are a chronic problem, your podiatrist can perform a procedure to permanently prevent ingrown nails.
If you have diabetes or poor circulation, you should seek immediate treatment at the first signs of an ingrown toenail, as it can lead to more severe complications.