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An ingrown nail occurs when a nail grows into the flesh at the side of the nail. This usually affects the toes, particularly the big toe. People with curved or thick nails are most likely to develop a problem with ingrown nails, although ingrown nails can affect anyone.
Ingrown nails are most frequently caused by:
- Cutting the toenails too short or rounding the nail edges.
- Wearing shoes that fit poorly or that press the nail into the toe.
- An injury such as stubbing your toe, which may cause the nail to grow inward.
Medical treatment of an infected ingrown nail often includes oral antibiotics or topical ointments. A severely ingrown nail may have to be removed.
Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerH. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Current as ofMarch 12, 2014