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ingrown nails

ingrown nail education.jpg

An ingrown toenail often occurs because a nail is not trimmed correctly or because shoes are too tight. An ingrown nail can cause an infection. It is a very common issue involving the pediatric population, but can still occur in the adult population. The issue usually arises due to poor nail trimming habits. You should trim toenails straight across, so the ends of the nail grow over the skin and not into it. When trimming your nails you should easily be able to see both corners of you nail. Good nail care can prevent ingrown toenails.


  • Trim the nails straight across. Leave the corners a little longer so they do not cut into the skin.

  • Do not use manicure scissors to dig under the ingrown nail. You might stab your toe, which could get infected.

  • Do not trim your toenails too short.

  • Check with your doctor before trimming your own toenails if you have been diagnosed with diabetes or peripheral arterial disease. These conditions increase the risk of an infection, because you may have decreased sensation in your toes and cut yourself without knowing it.

  • Wear roomy, comfortable shoes.

  • If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.

When should you call us for help?

  • You have signs of infection, such as:

    • Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness.

    • Red streaks leading from the toe.

    • Pus draining from the toe.

    • A fever.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You do not get better as expected





Some ingrown toenails can be treated at home with soaking your toe in warm water for roughly 15 minutes and allowing the nail to grow out naturally. Trim your nail straight across without trying to dig out the corners. Allow the nail to grow out until you are able to visualize the corners of you nail. If your toe becomes infected, you may need to be prescribed antibiotics.


Nail avulsion is the most common surgical procedure performed on the nail unit. It is the excision of the body of the nail plate from its primary attachments. Avulsion of the nail plate may be initially performed to allow full exposure of the nail matrix before chemical or surgical matricectomy. Other indications for performing nail avulsion are to treat recalcitrant onychocryptosis


Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems.

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