How to treat ingrown toenail infection? | Symptoms and Treatment

An ingrown toenail can be extremely painful, and if not treated appropriately, it can lead to more severe infections. If you have an ingrown toenail, it is essential to recognize the signs and symptoms to take steps toward proper treatment. Fortunately, you can do some simple things at home to treat an ingrown toenail infection and reduce discomfort.

What is an Ingrown Toenail

An ingrown toenail is a common condition in which the nail grows abnormally into the skin of your toe. This can cause pain, swelling, and redness, and if left untreated, it can lead to severe infections. Knowing how to spot an ingrown toenail and treat it quickly is essential for avoiding further complications.

The most common symptom of an ingrown toenail is pain that develops along one side of your toe, usually near the base or tip. Other signs include redness, warmth around the area, swelling, and tenderness when you touch it. Sometimes, pus may drain from the affected area due to infection or other complications. If these symptoms are present, it’s essential to seek medical attention immediately, as delaying treatment could allow a condition to worsen over time.

Causes of Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are a common foot problem that can cause immense pain and discomfort. This condition occurs when the corner or side of your toenail grows into the skin instead of over it, leading to inflammation and infection. While some people may be more prone to this condition than others, there are also a few causes that can increase your risk of developing an ingrown toenail.

  • Improperly-fitted shoes are one of the most common causes of ingrown nails. Shoes that fit too tight or loose can put pressure on the toes, making them more vulnerable to growing inward rather than outward.
  • Similarly, cutting your nails incorrectly is another potential source for ingrown; trimming them too short or in an uneven fashion can lead to their edges curling back into the skin.

Symptoms of Infection

An ingrown toenail infection is a painful and inconvenient condition. Knowing the symptoms of a disease is essential so you can seek professional treatment if necessary.

  • Symptoms of an ingrown toenail infection include redness, swelling, and pain around the affected toe;
  • pus-filled lesions at the site of the infection.
  • Fever or chills; and a foul odor are coming from the infected area.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it could be indicative of a more severe issue, such as bacterial infection or abscesses. Seeing your doctor is essential to properly treat and prevent further complications from occurring.

How to treat ingrown toenail infection?

Regarding foot care, ingrown toenails can be painful and potentially dangerous.

Simple lifestyle changes such as avoiding tight-fitting shoes, cutting the nail properly, and keeping the feet dry are extraordinary preventive measures that can help reduce the risk of getting an ingrown toenail infection in the first place. Home remedies such as soaking your toes in warm water with Epsom salts or applying a cotton ball soaked in tea tree oil also help reduce inflammation and promote healing. When symptoms persist or worsen despite these treatments, individuals need to seek medical attention from a qualified healthcare provider who can provide further treatment options tailored to their needs. 

Professional Treatment Options

Professional treatment options are the best way to ensure a safe and effective recovery when treating an ingrown toenail infection. Treatments can range from topical ointments or antibiotics prescribed by a doctor to more intense methods, such as surgical removal of the infected nail. Regardless of the treatment chosen, each option will relieve pain and discomfort while helping prevent further infection. 

For those seeking a non-invasive approach, topical ointments may be recommended depending on the severity of the infection. These medications can help reduce inflammation and pain associated with an ingrown toenail. In addition, oral antibiotics may also be prescribed if necessary to clear up any bacterial infections contributing to the problem.

When to Seek Medical Help

In some cases, the infection may require medical attention. Knowing when to seek medical help for an ingrown toenail infection can prevent serious complications or severe pain. 

The most common sign of an ingrown toenail is redness and tenderness around the affected area. If these symptoms are accompanied by fever, chills, or pus draining from the toe, it is essential to seek medical help immediately, as this could indicate a more severe infection. Suppose there is intense pain that does not lessen after several days of home care treatments, such as soaking in warm water. In that case, it is likely time for professional intervention from a doctor or podiatrist.


Ingrown toenail infection is a common foot problem that can range from uncomfortable to painful. Treatment of ingrown toenails requires simple home remedies, such as soaking the feet in warm water and using a cotton swab or similar objects to separate the skin from the nail. Additionally, when necessary, antibiotics may be prescribed by a doctor to help reduce pain and speed up healing. To prevent ingrown nails in the future, it is essential to keep feet clean and dry and trim nails properly.


What are the treatments for an ingrown toenail infection?

Treatment for an ingrown toenail infection usually involves soaking the affected area in warm water and salt, then gently lifting the nail’s corner and placing a small piece of cotton or dental floss underneath. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to reduce inflammation and prevent further infection. Surgery may sometimes be necessary to remove part of the nail.

how to drain pus from ingrown toenail

The best way to drain pus from an ingrown toenail is to soak the affected toe in warm water for 10-15 minutes. Afterward, use a sterile needle to puncture the area and allow the pus to drain gently. It’s important not to cut too deeply or forcefully, as this can cause further damage. Once the pus has drained, clean the area with an antiseptic and cover it with a bandage.

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