Infected Ingrown Toenail Symptoms, Pictures, Treatment & How to Clean


Infected ingrown toenail can show symptoms that are very uncomfortable. Here are pictures, treatment options and how to clean badly in

How can I tell if an ingrown toenail is infected? How can I treat such a toenail? This article is intended to help you make sense of all these and much more. Included also are pictures of infected ingrown toenails. Infection can worsen an ingrown toenail and impede or slow the healing process significantly. Below, learn the common symptoms of infection and how to go about treating an infected toenail. We’ll also share some tips on cleaning an infected toe.

An infected toe may appear to be sore and red.

Infected Ingrown Toenail Symptoms

An infected ingrown toenail is no good news, but it often happens when an ingrown toenail remains untreated. Sometimes even an ingrown toenail that is already being treated can get an infection when the piercing of the soft tissues around the toenail gives way for entry of bacteria.

So, how do you tell if you are dealing with an infection? Here are some common symptoms to look out for:

  • Increasing and pulsating pain
  • A toenail that feels warm
  • Increased inflammation
  • Increasing redness (that seems to cover increasingly large area of the toe)
  • Discharge of pus (yellow or green fluid)

As the infection gets worse, you could experience other symptoms including:

  • Fever
  • Chills

How to Treat an Infected Ingrown Toenail

Now that you know how to tell if an ingrown toenail is infected, you might right now be wondering “how to treat an infected ingrown toenail”. Well, you shouldn’t. If you have one or more signs of infection, you should seek the attention of your doctor or a podiatrist immediately.

Your doctor can prescribe a dose of oral antibiotics or give you a topical antibiotic cream such as Neosporin. Early treatment of is usually very effective.

Painkillers such as paracetamol, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen may also form part of the treatment for infected ingrown toenail. These help to relieve the pain. Aspirin is however not recommended for use on children aged below 16 years as it has been found to often trigger a rare, yet fatal condition referred to as Reye’s syndrome.

Although not a treatment per se, wearing open shoes and sandals is also recommended. This relieves your healing toenail of the pressure often exerted on the toes by shoes, more so if they are ill fitting. It is also in order to stay away from strenuous and sporting activities that may cause injury to the toenail until it has had enough time to heal.

Here’s how an ingrown toenail may appear.

It is also important to avoid touching your healing toenail with dirty hands. Ideally, you should wash your hands with water and soap (or maybe an antiseptic) every time you have to handle the toenail.

In addition you will want to keep the wound clean, dry and properly dressed.  Most importantly, follow your doctor’s instructions carefully and this includes taking all the medications given at appropriate time.

Infected Ingrown Toenail Pictures

And here comes our favorite part. If you have been a frequent visitor to our site, you probably knew that this was coming 🙂 but if you just visited our site for the first time, feel welcome as well and enjoy reading around 🙂

Without further ado let’s have a few infected ingrown toenail pictures just in case you are still wondering what the heck I am talking about.

Infection Picture 1

This picture shows an ingrown toenail with a staph infection. Staph infection (infection by staphylococcus bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus) of ingrown toenails is the most common.

Staphylococcus bacteria are often found in abundance on the skin surface and when an ingrown toenail occurs, it often creates an entry point for these bacteria. This often culminates in infection by these normally harmless bacteria. Here is another picture of infected ingrown toenail which eventually resulted in the loss of the nail:

Infection Picture 2

Antibiotics for Infected Ingrown Toenail

Antibiotics for infected ingrown toenail can be classified into two broad categories, namely, topical and oral antibiotics.

Topical antibiotics are those that are applied on the surface of the skin (topically). These are usually creams or ointments. Neosporin is one of the most common topical antibiotics creams as at the time of this writing.

The toenail may have symptoms such as bleeding.

Oral antibiotics are on the other hand taken by mouth as the name suggests and include Di/flucloxacillin (first choice for most podiatrists), Cephalexin (first choice for those sensitive to penicillin), Clindamycin and Acyclovir.

Oral antibiotics are usually recommended if the patient has pus discharge, otherwise topical creams and ointments will work just fine and are generally preferred.

How to Clean an Infected Ingrown Toenail

Keeping it clean is absolutely important to ensure quick healing. Your doctor or podiatrist (a medical specialist who diagnoses and treat foot conditions) will probably give you instructions on how to clean the toenail but here is a general guideline that you may find useful:

  • Soak your toe in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes
  • Now pat the toenail dry with a clean piece of cotton wool and apply the antibiotic cream given by your doctor (if any). The best way to apply the cream is to dab a small amount onto a clean dressing (or cotton wool) as opposed to using your bare hands to apply it.
  • Slide a small piece of wet cotton wool or dental floss beneath the toenail such that the corners of the ingrown toenail are lifted away from the underlying skin. The cotton wool (or dental floss for that matter) needs to be changed regularly to ensure proper hygiene.

In addition to this, you will also want to refrain from piercing the infected ingrown toenail with needle to drain it of pus or using sharp objects such as scissors to dig into the ingrown toenail as this can worsen the situation.

Consider walking around with open-toed shoes or sandals as this place little pressure on the toenail if any.

That is it! Now go ahead and kick that ingrown toenail goodbye. You will buy me a cup of coffee later on. I am just kidding 🙂