Ingrown toenails are a common condition where the corners of the nail dig painfully into the toe leading to swelling, pain, inflammation or redness, and infection. They are often caused by nails that have been improperly trimmed, shoes that fit incorrectly, and genetic predisposition.
While minor ingrown nails may be treated at home with epsom salt soaks, anyone with diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, or other circulatory disorders should avoid any form of self-treatment and seek podiatric treatment immediately. Additionally, any nail presenting with excessive redness or any drainage should seek treatment.
A podiatrist will remove the ingrown portion of the nail as needed. If the ingrown nail has happened before, the doctor may recommend a more permanent treatment.
The best way to prevent ingrown nails is to cut them straight across, not to be longer than the tips of the toes. Pointy or narrow shoes should also be avoided.