Ingrown Toenails (Onychocryptosis)

An ingrown toenail is a painful incurvation of the toenail that may become infected and or/inflamed. Frequently, the condition can be avoided by proper trimming of the toenail. Nails should be trimmed straight across, avoiding rounding or slanting the corners. In some cases, incurvated toenails is inherited and is called pincer nail deformity.

Soaking the foot in warm water and dilute Epsom salts may decrease the inflammation and soothe the irritation. Antibiotic ointment combined with a topical anesthetic may give some relief. However, if the condition persists for more than a few days a doctor's visit may be necessary.

Your doctor may elect to remove the incurvated portion of the nail under local anesthetic. Gradual resolve of the pain and inflammation should then occur. Permanent removal of the nail border may be necessary to prevent recurrence of the problem.