Ingrown Toenail (Onychocryptosis)

  • Medical Author:
    Philip A. Radovic, DPM, FACFAS

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Quick GuideNail Color and Texture: What Nails Say About Your Health

Nail Color and Texture: What Nails Say About Your Health

What are possible complications of ingrown toenails?

A persisting ingrown toenail can have serious consequences. A localized infection of the nail border (paronychia) can progress to a deeper soft-tissue infection (cellulitis), which can in turn progress to a bone infection (osteomyelitis). Complications can include scarring of the surrounding skin and nail borders as well as thickened, deformed (onychodystrophy) fungal toenails (onychomycosis).

Are there any home remedies for an ingrown toenail?

The following home remedies may provide temporary relief.

  • Lukewarm water foot soaks for 15-20 minutes with any one of the following options can be helpful: one part white vinegar to four parts water; 2 tablespoons Epsom salts per quart of water; or a dilute Clorox type bleach with 1/3 teaspoon of Clorox in 1 gallon of water.
  • Elevate the foot and leg.
  • Take oral anti-inflammatory medications.
  • Trim the toenail straight across the top without digging into the corners or leaving them too short.
  • Carefully rolling back be overgrown skin at the affected nail border may allow one to slip a small piece of cotton or dental floss to lift the offending edge of the nail up from the skin.

If symptoms persist, medical treatment from a podiatrist is recommended.

Reviewed on 11/18/2015
References
REFERENCE:

American Podiatric Medical Association

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