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Home :: Toenail, Ingrown

Ingrown Toenails - Treatment and Remedies

When a toenail is ingrown, the sides or corners of the nail curl down and dig into the skin, causing swelling, pain and redness.

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


An ingrown toenail is likely to accompany one of the following conditions:

  • The nail formation is more curved than normal.
  • The toenail is clipped back too far, allowing tissue to grow up over it.
  • Shoes fit poorly, forcing the toe of the shoe against the nail and surrounding tissue.
  • The person participates in activities that require sudden stops ("toe jamming").

Signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms of an ingrown toenail include:

  • Pain and tenderness in your toe along one or both sides of the nail
  • Redness around your toenail
  • Swelling of your toe around the nail
  • Infection of the tissue around your toenail


A doctor's examination of the foot is sufficient to diagnose an ingrown toenail.

Blood tests may be performed if you have a severe infection or a history of diabetes .

Treatment and Home remedies

Medical Treatment- Necessary for diagnosis and surgery.

Home Treatment- The following home treatment is appropriate either before or after surgery:

  • Soak the toe for 20 minutes, twice a day, in a gallon of warm water with either 2 tablespoons of epsom salts or 2 tablespoons of a mill detergent.
  • Lift the nail corners gently and wedge a small piece of cotton under the ingrown nail edges.
  • Between soaks, apply Merthiolate and an antiseptic cream such as Neosporin or Bacitracin. Then apply an adhesive bandage strip to protect from injury.

Medication - Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to fight infection.

  • Wear roomy, well-fitting shoes and socks.
  • Cut toenails carefully. Persons with diabetes mellitus or peripheral vascular disease should be especially careful in trimming toenails. Foot injury is dangerous, with these disorders because of impaired blood circulation to the feet.
  • Trim toenails straight across the top and not too short
  • Keep feet and toenails scrupulously clean.
  • Cut toenails the way they are shaped-not straight across.
  • Avoid excessive shoe pressure.

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Disclaimer: website is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. Always take the advice of professional health care for specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment. We will not be liable for any complications, or other medical accidents arising from the use of any information on this web site. Please note that medical information is constantly changing. Therefore some information may be out of date.