Treating Your Feet - Understanding Your Ingrown Toenails

Health & Medical Blog

Whether you work a job that requires you to be on your feet performing hard labor or all day or you work in an office setting where you find yourself constantly crammed into uncomfortable shoes, foot care is an extremely important part of your health. No part of your feet require more attention than your nails, as an ingrown toenail can be a painful and surprisingly hazardous situation.

Below, you'll find a guide to diagnosing and treating your ingrown toenails at home. Serious occurrences should always be coupled with a visit to your doctor, but taking these steps can allow you to avoid serious discomfort and stay on your feet without any reservation.


The most universal sign that you're suffering from an ingrown toenail is redness and swelling around the base of the nail. It'll likely be very tender to the touch, and you may also notice fluid leaking from it or even a particularly unpleasant odor. You should be aware, however, that some of these symptoms can apply to more serious conditions as well. If you find that these symptoms aren't abating even after care, you should go to your podiatrist immediately and have a thorough examination.


The most serious risk of ingrown toenails is infection. While it may begin as a simple surface inflammation, if you allow an infected toenail to sit without treatment, the infection can spread to other parts of your foot and cause dangerous and painful conditions such as cellulitis. These infections can then get into your bones and begin to seriously threaten your health.

Untreated ingrown toenails can also cause very unsightly swelling and scarring of your feet. Over time, your foot tissue will harden and calcify, and you can be left with thickened and deformed toes and toenails that are every bit as uncomfortable to stand on as they are uncomfortable to look at.


If you find yourself suffering from an ingrown toenail, a foot soak with medicated salts is the best solution. This will allow the wound to stay clean while simultaneously encouraging the surrounding tissue to stay soft. Keeping your foot elevated whenever possible will also go a long way in preventing blood from pooling at the infection site and encouraging swelling. You should also be sure to trim your nails straight across the top without irritating the corners, but if you find the symptoms won't go away, you should see a foot doctor like The Podiatry Center immediately.


27 February 2015