An ingrown toenail is when part of the nail grows into the skin on the side of the toe. In some cases, it can get infected. An infected ingrown toenail can be increasingly painful as time goes by without treatment. If you believe to have an infected ingrown toenail, you should contact a podiatrist (foot doctor) as soon as possible.
Ingrown toenails can be caused by a number of factors:
- Cutting your nail too short
- Toenail injury
- Curved toenails
- Tight or improper footwear
- Improper way of trimming nails (should be cut across, not curved)
- Playing sports that put pressure on the toes such as running and soccer
- Poor foot hygiene
Symptoms of an ingrown toenail infection include:
- Blister filled with pus where the nail is growing into the skin
- Swelling of the skin next to the nail
- Pain when applying pressure to the toe
You can follow at home treatment care to help relieve the pain caused by an infected ingrown toenail. One is to soak your toe in a warm foot bath with Epsom salt. To do this, mix 1-2 tablespoons of Epsom salt into 1 quart of warm water. Soak your foot for about 15 minutes. You can do this several times a day. After soaking, make sure to completely dry your foot. Soaking not only helps relieve the pain and pressure, but it also helps draw out the pus from your toe.
You may do at-home remedies to relieve the pain, but it is important to seek medical care. If you notice severe redness, swelling, and drainage from your toe, consult a doctor immediately. For people that are diabetic, seek medical attention as soon as possible.
If you have an ingrown toenail, contact us to schedule a free consultation with one of our doctors. We have same-day appointments available at over 50 clinics nationwide, including Washington, DC.