This can cause the nail to grow inward. Repeating an activity that injuries the nail, such as kicking a soccer ball, can also cause an ingrown nail. The main symptom of an ingrown toenail is the pain from the nail growing into the skin instead of over it. If the ingrown toenail gets infected, it might be swollen or red, and it might drain pus.
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The area around the ingrown toenail is often painful. Your doctor will do a physical exam to diagnose an ingrown toenail. He or she will look at your toe where the nail has grown into the skin. You can try the following steps at home to relieve the pain caused by your ingrown toenail and help the nail to grow out naturally:. Use these home treatment steps for 3 days. If they do not help, you might need to see your doctor.
Be sure to see a doctor if your toe gets infected. Your toe might be infected if it hurts more than it did before you tried the home treatment. Call your doctor if your toe is red, warm, swollen, or drains pus, or if there are red streaks leading from your toe. Your doctor might give you antibiotics. If your toenail is very ingrown, your doctor might suggest minor surgery to remove all or part of the ingrown nail.
He or she may refer you to a podiatrist. During this surgery, the doctor will numb your toe. Then he or she will cut the edge of the ingrown toenail and pull out the piece of nail. To prevent the nail from growing into the skin again, your doctor might destroy all or part of the nail root. This is called ablation. If your doctor removes all or part of your nail but does not destroy the root, it will begin to grow back within a few months. After the surgery it is important to take care of your toe so that it can heal.
Your doctor will give you specific instructions to follow. He or she may tell you to:.
You may be able to prevent ingrown toenails by wearing roomy and comfortable shoes and socks that do not press on your toes. If you work in a place where your toe might get hurt, wear sturdy shoes such as steel-toed boots to protect your toes.
Foot Pain and Conditions - Common Foot Problems & Treatments
Be sure to trim your toenails properly. You can do this by cutting your toenail straight across, not curved. Make sure you do not cut your toenail too short. You can also leave your toenail a little longer at the corners to help it grow over the skin.
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10 Common Foot Conditions Explained
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