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Ingrown toenails: The agony of the feet

ingrown toenailsThose cute shoes you borrowed from your friend for your night out on the town may have looked great, but your feet are now paying the price for the half-a-size-too-small footwear. Wearing shoes that are ill fitting (too tight, too short) is just one cause of ingrown toenails—something you now know. Cutting toenails too short or at an angle on the sides can also cause your toenail to grow into the skin of your toe, leaving you with a toe (usually the big toe) that may be:

  • swollen and tender
  • red and infected
  • sore or painful
  • weepy, with pus drainage

If you catch ingrown toenail before it becomes infected, home treatments may be all that's needed. That means soaking the affected toe in warm water several times a day, keeping it dry at all other times and wearing shoes that fit properly or sandals, which give the toes more wiggle room. If the toe doesn't get better after a few days and shows signs of infection, call your healthcare provider. Surgery to remove part or all of the nail may be needed.