Ingrown toenails are characterized by pain and swelling to the skin around the toenail. If an ingrowing nail has been present for a sufficient period of time the nail will even begin to drain pus.
Ingrowing nails are caused by the nail becoming incurvated and digging into the skin. The nail can become incurvated due to age, trauma to the nail and from medication.
The diagnosis of ingrowing nails is made by the physical exam findings of swelling and redness around the nail and the presence of an incurvated nail.
The treatment of ingrowing nails can be performed sometimes at home by soaking the nail in warm water and epson salts. If the nail continues to be painful the nail can be temporarily or permanently removed by a foot specialist. Do not try to remove the nail at home as it can cause serious infections.