Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Ingrown Nail
An ingrown nail grows into the flesh instead of over it and usually
affects the toes, particularly the big toe. The site of an ingrown nail can be
painful, tender, red, swollen, and can sometimes develop pus.
Ingrown nails are most often caused by:
Most ingrown nail problems can be prevented by proper nail care,
such as cutting nails straight across, and by wearing shoes and socks that fit
well. Home treatment, such as soaking the affected nail in hot water, can often
help relieve pain. Antibiotics may be needed for an ingrown nail that becomes
infected. A severely ingrown nail may have to be partially or completely
Current as of:
February 20, 2015
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more, visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2015 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.