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Ingrown Toenails (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care

Anytime an ingrown toenail has developed into an infection (drainage, a fever, lighter skin surrounded by red skin, or worsening pain and swelling), see a doctor.

Even if the ingrown toenail is only inflamed without infection, see a doctor if the following conditions also occur:

  • If it has been more than five years since your last tetanus booster shot
  • If there is no improvement after three days of home care
  • If you have diabetes, poor circulation, AIDS, are on chemotherapy, or have another reason for poor wound healing or an increased risk of infection

Most ingrown toenails can be managed in the doctor's office. However, go to the emergency department (by car, not ambulance) if these circumstances develop:

  • If you have diabetes or are at increased risk for infection and your regular physician is unavailable (even if the toe is not infected yet)
  • If you have diabetes or are at increased risk for infection and have any fever or signs of infection in the toe (Both bacterial and fungal infections are more common in immunocompromised people.)
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/10/2014
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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Toenail, Ingrown »

Ingrown toenails (unguis incarnatus) are a common toenail problem of uncertain etiology.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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