Ingrown toenail

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An ingrown toenail occurs when the side of the nail grows into the surrounding skin. Learn what causes this condition and how it can be treated.

Key points

  • An ingrown toenail occurs when the toenail grows into the surrounding skin, causing pain and discomfort.
  • The causes of ingrown toenails include tight footwear, improperly trimmed nails and repeated bumps to the toes.
  • The early signs and symptoms of an ingrown toenail include swelling, redness and pain.
  • Early on, an ingrown toenail can be treated by improving footwear, trimming nails straight across and applying a topical antibiotic ointment, if needed.
  • Later signs of ingrown toenail include pus, a bad smell or a fever. If your child has these signs and symptoms, they should see a doctor because they may need antibiotics.
Last updated: May 13th 2020