Most ingrown nail problems can be prevented with proper grooming of the toes and by wearing better-fitting shoes. Try to reduce pressure on the toe by wearing sandals or by not wearing a shoe for several days.
Avoid trimming the corner of the toenail unless you can easily see and clip the corner of the nail. Otherwise, this can lead to a worsening of the ingrown toenail.
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If you notice an infection, see your doctor, who may prescribe an antibiotic. In many cases, your doctor may recommend partial removal of a severely ingrown nail. Unless the ingrowing piece of nail is removed, the problem will often persist. Permanent removal of the nail root at the ingrown side may be advised if ingrown nails recur. These procedures are done in the doctor's office or surgery center under a local anesthetic.
Sometimes an ingrown nail is caused by a fungus. A doctor can determine if you have a fungus and then offer treatment options.