Ingrown toenails are a common condition in which the corner or side of a toenail grows into the adjacent skin. The result is pain, reddened inflamed skin, swelling and if left untreated can result in an infection. Ingrown toenails can affect any toenail but most commonly affects the big toe (called the Hallux). If the pain is severe or spreading, a podiatrist can take steps to treat the ingrown toenail by cutting the offending nail back away from the inflamed area or removing the offending border of the ingrown toenail (with local anesthesia).
If you have diabetes or another condition that causes poor blood flow to your feet, you're at greater risk of complications. Therefore self treatment is not recommended and treatment should be performed by a podiatrist.
One should seek treatment from a podiatrist if you are experiencing severe discomfort in a toe, redness, drainage/pus or inflamed skin. If you are a diabetic or have another condition that causes poor blood flow to the feet and you have a foot sore or infection one should immediately seek treatment by a podiatrist.
To help prevent an ingrown toenail one should trim your toenails straight across. If you get a pedicure, ask the person doing it to trim your nails straight across. If you have a condition that causes poor blood flow to the feet and you can't trim your nails, see a podiatrist regularly to have your nails trimmed. Keep toenails at a moderate length. If you trim your toenails too short, the toenail may grow into the adjacent skin as it regrows. Wear shoes that fit properly (avoid shoes that are tight fitting or too short in the toe box). Check your feet. If you have diabetes, one should check your feet daily for signs of ingrown toenails or other foot problems.
Footsupplystore.com recommends straight nail cutters such as Toe Nail Clipper by gSource which is a professional grade nail cutter with a straight blunt tip. KERA NAIL GEL™ is a high-potency nail treatment in a vehicle containing, Tea Tree Oil, Menthol, Camphor and Eucalyptus Oil which helps softens thickened toenails which can help to facilitate toenail debridement.