According to Shannon Johnson for Healthline, an ingrown toenail might warrant surgery if a person is experiencing signs of infection and all previous home remedy attempts have failed. A person's ingrown toenail may be infected if she experiences warmth, redness, swelling, oozing pus, bleeding or overgrowth of skin around the toe. Surgery is often performed in a family doctor's office and does not usually require a trip to the hospital.
Johnson advises that ingrown toenails are preventable. It is important to monitor the feet to remain aware of any early warning signs that may indicate an ingrown toenail is developing. These symptoms include tender and swollen skin around the toenail, pressure on the toe when wearing shoes or when it is touched, and slight fluid buildup around the toenail.
Infections in the feet can become quite dangerous if not treated, so Johnson warns that a person should visit a doctor as soon as she begins to observe bleeding or pus around the toenail. Possible home remedies include warm water soaks for the foot several times a day, using a cotton ball soaked in olive oil to try to gently push the skin away from the toenail and applying a topical ointment to the area to fight early signs of infection.