ZocdocAnswersHow can I treat pain caused by an ingrown toenail?

Question

How can I treat pain caused by an ingrown toenail?

I have an ingrown nail on my right big toe. There isn?t any blood or anything. How can I fix it/make it stop hurting?

Answer

An ingrown toenail occurs when the nail grows into the skin fold at the edge, causing pressure and pain. Sometimes, fixing this can be as simple as trying to tease out the edge of the nail so it is no longer pressing into the skin fold tissue. However, often the skin becomes inflamed and reddened. When this occurs, other treatments are often needed. Soaking the feet in warm salt water can draw out some of the redness and irritation. However, if the redness continues to develop and worsen, then this is probably a paronychia, or infection of the nail fold, which is a common complication of ingrown toenails. Paronychias can also sometimes be treated with warm water soaks as well as a topical antibiotic cream. However, if the pain and redness continues you should go to see your doctor. This is because sometimes paronychia can result in a collection of pus that needs to be lanced or drained by your doctor, or the infection may progress to the point where it requires oral antibiotics. Finally, if you continue to get persistent in grown toenails you should see a podiatrist. They may have recommendation on how to cut your nails to prevent future in grown toe nails.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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