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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Ingrown Toe Nail
December 2001

Q. What is the best treatment for ingrown toenails? My son has them on both of his large toes. My daughter hears the treatment for it is to remove the nail. Is this true?

A. Your daughter is getting a step ahead of the problem as it may respond to simple measures. An ingrown nail refers to the condition in which the nail seems to grow into or collide with the surrounding skin leading to inflammation or infection. This can be quite painful.

Soaking the foot in warm water and taking over-the-counter pain relievers will usually give temporary relief. If the conditon worsens or reoccurs often, medical evaluation is needed. The references below describe the simple measures to try at home. Even in severe cases, the procedure needed is a minor office procedure removing a thin strip of the problem nail, not the whole nail.



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