An ingrown toenail is a very common form of a nail disease. It can often be very painful where the nail grows such that it cuts into the nail bed on one or both sides. An ingrown toenail most commonly occurs from an infection of the nail bed and an inflammatory reaction causing the nail to be buried under this. Sometimes, the nail can actually grow into the tissue surrounding the nail.
Symptoms of an ingrown toenail include pain that is worsened with touch against objects such as socks, shoes and can be exacerbated by running where the trauma can cause the nail to further further into the nail bed. It is very easy for ingrown toenails to thus get infected. This warrants that good nail care is essential and very important. If an ingrown toenail is infected, symptoms may include redness and swelling, pus or bloody drainage from the nail.
Treatment of ingrown toenails ranges from soaking the toe in antibacterial solution with warm water, but to avoid touching the nail to avoid infection. However, a bad ingrown toenail, as you put it, certainly requires that you make an appointment with a podiatrist
to diagnose it correctly and treat it effectively (i,e. antibiotics, removal of the ingrown nail or even surgery
). In the interim, it is important to keep the area clean, keep shoes dry, change socks daily and avoid prying the nail.