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Ingrown toenails


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Toenails, Ingrown - Ingrown toenails (unguis incarnatus) are acommon toenail problem of uncertain etiology. Various causes include poorly fit (tight) footwear, infection, improperly trimmed toenails, trauma, and heredity. The great toe is the most commonly involved.

An ingrown toenail is a common condition in which the corner or side of one of your toenails grows into the soft flesh of your toe. The result is pain, redness, swelling and, sometimes, an infection. The condition usually affects your big toe.

In most cases, you can take care of ingrown toenails on your own. If the pain is severe or spreading, however, your doctor can take steps to relieve your discomfort and help you avoid complications.

If you have diabetes or another condition that causes poor circulation to your feet, you're at greater risk of complications.

Seek a doctor's advice earlier on caring for an ingrown toenail.


You can treat most ingrown toenails at home. Here's how:

  • Soak your feet for 15 to 20 minutes twice a day, using warm salt water (1 teaspoon of table salt per pint of water) or an over-the-counter bath soak such as Pedi-Boro Soak Paks. Soaking will reduce swelling and relieve tenderness.

  • Put fresh bits of cotton under the ingrown edge after each soaking. This will help the nail eventually grow above the skin edge.

  • Apply an antibiotic ointment to the tender area.

  • Consider wearing open-toed shoes or sandals until your toe feels better.

  • Trim the ingrown portion of your nail. Sometimes this step alone will relieve pressure and allow the area to heal.

  •  If there's severe pain, apply cotton saturated with an over-the-counter ingrown toenail reliever to your toe to provide temporary relief.

  • If the ingrown toenail has caused an infection, soak your foot in warm salt water, or a basin of soapy water, then apply an antiseptic and bandage the area.

Ingrown toenails > 1 > 2 > 3 > 4

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