An ingrown toenail occurs when the edge of the toenail grows into the skin surrounding the nail. This can cause pain, swelling, redness, and infection.
Ingrown toenails are most commonly found in the big toe, but can occur in any toe. They can be caused by a variety of factors, including wearing shoes that are too tight or narrow, trimming toenails improperly, injury to the toe, or a genetic predisposition.
Symptoms of an ingrown toenail may include:
- Pain and tenderness along the edge of the nail
- Swelling and redness around the nail
- Infection, which may cause pus or drainage from the affected area
- Difficulty walking or wearing shoes
Treatment for ingrown toenails depends on the severity of the condition. Mild cases may be treated with soaking the foot in warm water and using over-the-counter pain medications. However, more severe cases may require medical treatment, including antibiotics to treat infection, removal of the affected portion of the nail, or surgery to remove the entire nail.
Preventing ingrown toenails can be done by wearing shoes that fit properly, avoiding shoes with a pointed toe, and cutting toenails straight across rather than in a curved shape.
It’s important to seek medical attention if you are experiencing symptoms of an ingrown toenail, as untreated ingrown toenails can lead to serious infection or other complications.