An ingrown toenail occurs when part of the nail grows into the skin on the side of the toe. There are different levels of severity ranging from a simple ingrown to a serious infection. An ingrown toenail treatment involves cutting the part of the nail that is growing into the skin.

Minor cases are usually dealt with at home or at the nail salon during a pedicure. At-home treatments include over-the-the counter pain medication, topical antibiotic creams, and soaking the toe into a foot bath. Some people try to perform a “bathroom surgery” where someone with an ingrown toenail tries to operate on their toe in the comfort of their own bathroom. 

If the ingrown toenail is causing you pain, you will need the help of a professional. You need to see a doctor if the toe is infected or if you have a chronic health condition that affects your circulation and your immune system and when home remedies do not solve the problem. You may have chronic ingrown toenails when it keeps growing back after you have removed it several times. 

Consult a podiatrist if you are experiencing these symptoms:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Warmth on the affected area
  • Oozing pus

People with diabetes, peripheral artery disease, Reynaud’s disease, or any condition that affects blood circulation need to consult a doctor immediately. Even if it is a minor ingrown toenail, having this type of disease puts them at risk of a more serious complication.

At your podiatrist visit, part of the nail that is growing into the skin will be removed at the root to prevent it from coming back. For a severe condition, complete removal of the nail might be done. To learn more about ingrown toenail treatments, read this blog post about the different types of ingrown toenail surgery.