An ingrown toenail is a curved piece of nail that digs into the your skin. This creates pain, swelling, redness and can lead to infection. Drainage and a foul odor are indicators of infection. Many try to treat an ingrown toenail at home. This can be done by soaking your foot in water and massaging the side of your nail. When conservative treatment fails, it may be time to seek the aid of a physician. A physician will first numb your toe prior to removing the affected nail. Numbing a toe should be done by a professional. Never attempt to perform "home surgery" on your ingrown toenail.
Make an appointment with a podiatrist -- or foot and ankle surgeon. Contact your primary care doctor for a referral if you are not sure where to look.
Attend your appointment. A podiatrist will perform a physical examination of your affected toe. An antibiotic or minor surgical procedure will be recommended.
Have a minor surgical procedure. This procedure will be performed at your doctor's office. First, your doctor will spray a numbing agent on your affected toe. After a few minutes, your toe will begin to feel tingly and numb. Your doctor will then inject anesthetic along the edges of your nail. This may take up to six injections. Surgery will then be performed to remove the affected nail.
You can make an effort to prevent ingrown toenails. Trim your toenails regularly and wear properly fitting shoes.