An ingrowing toenail is caused by the penetration of the flesh by a sliver of nail. The patient usually feels pain along the margins of the nail, the toe shows redness and inflammation around the nail. It becomes easily infected unless special care is taken. Signs of infection include swelling, drainage of pus and watery discharge tinged with blood.

Causes that exacerbate any problem with a toenail are many:  they can appear from birth or wearing tight footwear (too small or too narrow), a careless foot hygiene (nails should not be cut along a curve, nor should they be cut too short, avoiding the edges to be removed which may dig into the flesh).

Initial treatment is conservative  and includes changing footwear,  cutting nails straight across,  antibacterial ointment or anitibiotic medicines by oral administration.

If conservative treatment does not succeed or if the ingrown toenail is severe, surgical treatment may be required under local anesthesia trying to clean the nail-bed and cutting nail corners and ungual matrix whick makes the nail grow amiss.

This patologia may  sometimes recur and doctors are forced to remove the extended matrix.