Munson Health
Ingrown Toenail

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by Alan R


You may be able to treat an ingrown toenail yourself if you catch it early. If the condition gets worse or does not improve, you will need to seek medical care. If you have diabetes, you must seek medical attention for any infection or wound involving your feet or toes.

Medical Care

Your doctor may recommend the following treatments:
  • Oral antibiotic medication
  • Removing the ingrown portion of the toenail
  • Draining the area that has become infected
  • Using a splint to lift the corner of the nail away from the soft tissue of the toe
If you repeatedly get ingrown toenails, or your ingrown toenail is severe, your doctor may:
  • Remove a portion of the toenail and apply medicine to the site to prevent that portion of the nail from growing back
  • Remove the entire toenail so that the nail will not grow back


American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society

American Podiatric Medical Association



Calgary Foot Clinic

Canadian Podiatric Medical Association



Ingrown toenails. American Podiatric Medical Association website. Available at: . Accessed May 2, 2013.

Matsumoto K, Hashimoto I, et al. Resin splint as a new conservative treatment for ingrown toenails. J Med Invest . 2010;57(3-4):321-325.

The Merck Manual of Medical Information—Home Edition . Simon and Schuster, Inc.; 2000.

Roberts JR, et al. Clinical Procedures in Emergency Medicine . 4th ed. Saunders; 2004.

Woo SH, Kim IH. Surgical pearl: nail edge separation with dental floss for ingrown toenails. J Am Acad Dermatol . 2004;50(6):939-940.


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