Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Ingrown Fingernail Overview

What is an ingrown fingernail?
A person with an ingrown fingernail has a nail that is growing into the skin of the finger. The edge of the nail grows into the skin, resulting in pain, redness and swelling of the skin around the nail. In many cases, the skin becomes infected. Ingrown fingernails usually resolve with treatment and appropriate nail care.

What are the symptoms of an ingrown fingernail?
Symptoms of an ingrown fingernail include finger pain that is located next to the nail. Additional symptoms include red, swollen skin and tenderness next to the nail.

How does the doctor treat an ingrown fingernail?
Treatment for an ingrown fingernail includes warm soaks, and proper nail trimming. Partial nail removal may be required in some cases, in order to promote healing. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications may help relieve pain. Skin infections may require treatment with antibiotics.

Continue to Ingrown Fingernail Risk Factors

Last Updated: Feb 9, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Ingrown Fingernail References
  1. Mori H, Umeda T, Nishioka K, Iida H, Aoki K, Yokoyama A. Ingrown nails: a comparison of the nail matrix phenolization method with the elevation of the nail bed-periosteal flap procedure. J Dermatol. 1998 Jan;25(1):1-4. [9519600]
  2. Takahashi M, Narisawa Y. Radical surgery for ingrown nails by partial resection of the nail plate and matrix using a carbon dioxide laser. J Cutan Laser Ther. 2000 Mar;2(1):21-5. [11446087]
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