Onychocryptosis; Unguis incarnatus; Nail avlusion; Matrix excision
If you have diabetes, nerve damage in the leg or foot, poor blood circulation to your foot, or an infection around the nail, go to the doctor right away. Do NOT try to treat this problem at home.
To treat an ingrown nail at home:
You may trim the toenail one time, if needed. When trimming your toenails:
Consider wearing sandals until the problem has gone away. Over-the-counter medications that are placed over the ingrown toenail may help some with the pain but do not treat the problem.
If this does not work and the ingrown nail gets worse, see your family doctor, a foot specialist (podiatrist) or a skin specialist (dermatologist).
If your ingrown nail does not heal or keeps coming back, your doctor may remove part of the nail.
Sometimes your doctor will use a chemical, electrical current, or another small surgical cut to destroy or remove the area from which a new nail may grow.
If the toe is infected, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.
Treatment will generally control the infection and relieve pain. However, the condition is likely to return if measures to prevent it are not taken. Good foot care is important to prevent recurrence.
This condition may become serious in people with diabetes, poor circulation, and nerve problems (peripheral neuropathies).
In severe cases, the infection may spread through the toe and into the bone.
Call your health care provider if you:
If you have diabetes, nerve damage in the leg or foot, poor blood circulation to your foot, or an infection around the nail, your risk for complications is higher. If you have diabetes, see your health care provider.
Heidelbaugh JJ, Lee H. Management of the ingrown toenail. Am Fam Physician. 2009;79(4):303-8.
Habif TP. Nail diseases. In: Habif TP, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 5th ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby Elsevier; 2009:chap 25.
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