An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of the nail grows into the skin of the toe. There may be pain, redness, and swelling around the nail.
The doctor may remove part of the nail or extra skin. If the toe is infected, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. These may be applied to the skin or taken by mouth.
In recurrent cases, your doctor may permanently reshape your nail using plastic surgery techniques.
An ingrown toenail can result from curved toenails, poorly fitting shoes, toenails that are trimmed improperly, or a toe injury. The skin around the toenail may become red and infected. The great toe is usually affected, but any toenail can become ingrown.
The condition may become serious in people with diabetes.
Treatment will generally control the infection and relieve pain. However, the condition is likely to return if measures to prevent it are not taken. Good foot care is important to prevent recurrence.
To prevent an ingrown toenail: