While an ingrown toenail can be an uncomfortable distraction, allowing it to get infected is painful and dangerous. When an ingrown toenail is not treated immediately, infection can occur.
How Do I Know if My Ingrown Toenail is Infected?
Left untreated, an ingrown toenail can become infected. Signs of infection include:
Redness with Heat or Swelling-
Redness is a sign of infection, but redness alone may be from irritation from socks or shoes. If there is redness accompanied by heat or swelling at the area, this is an indication of infection and should be treated.
Pus is your immune system’s response to an infection. Pus is a clear sign of infection and quite common at the area of infection. Pus is usually a thick fluid, white or yellow in colour. If you see pus around the toenail, you’ll need to treat both the infection and the ingrown toenail immediately.
What Should I Do if My Ingrown Toenail is Infected?
Infection can be serious, especially if there are other complicating health issues such as diabetes, where symptoms can quickly worsen. An infection around the toenail could benefit from a topical antibacterial liquid such as Betadine (iodine). Antibiotics are commonly taken for infections that have spread or are extreme.
Once your ingrown toenail has reached infection, this means that your ingrown toenail has likely moved past the mild stage and has reached the moderate or severe stage. If this is the case, consult a podiatrist for immediate treatment and removal of the spicule of nail causing the problem.