How Do You Determine How Bad an Ingrown Toenail Is?


Quick Answer

Checking for severe swelling or redness, bleeding from the area around the ingrown toenail and signs of pus around the nail indicates how bad that ingrown toenail really is, notes the National Health Service. All of those signs indicate the possibility for infection, which means that medical attention is necessary.

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Full Answer

Ingrown toenails occur when one or both sides of a toenail start to grow down into the skin surrounding it, states the National Health Service. As the nail pierces the skin, the skin reddens and becomes tender and inflamed. Other signs of an ingrown toenail include pain when pressure is applied to the toe, excess fluid or skin in and around the affected toe, and swelling in the skin at the end of the toe.

Ingrown toenails have a number of causes, including poor cutting technique, soft skin from chronically sweaty feet, an injury such as stubbing the toe, having toenails that are naturally curved and wearing shoes, socks or tights that fit too tightly, states the National Health Service. Fungal nail infections can make the toenail widen or thicken, potentially pushing it into the skin. Early treatments involve sliding the skin away from the nail with a cotton swab or cutting toenails straight across to keep them out of the skin, and keeping feet clean.

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