Left untreated or undetected, an ingrown toenail can infect the underlying bone and lead to a serious bone infection.
Complications can be especially severe if you have diabetes, because the circulation and nerve supply to your feet can be impaired. So, any relatively minor injury to your foot — cut, scrape, corn, callus or ingrown toenail — may not heal properly and may lead to infection. A difficult-to-heal open sore (foot ulcer) may require surgery to prevent gangrene — the decay and death of tissue resulting from an interruption in blood flow to a certain area of your body.
Mar. 17, 2011
- Ingrown toenail. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00154. Accessed Dec. 31, 2010.
- Foot care. American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/foot-care.html?print=t. Accessed Jan. 10, 2011.
- Melio FR. Soft tissue problems of the foot. In: Tintinalli JE, et al. Tintinalli's Emergency Medicine. 7th ed. New York, N.Y. The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=6393319&searchStr=nails%2c+ingrown. Accessed Jan. 10, 2011.
- Heidelbaugh JJ, et al. Management of the ingrown toenail. American Family Physician. 2009;79:303.