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, which can cause poor blood flow and damage nerves in your feet. So a minor foot injury — a cut, scrape, corn, callus or ingrown toenail — may not heal properly and become infected. A difficult-to-heal open sore (foot ulcer) may require surgery to prevent the decay and death of tissue (gangrene). Gangrene results from an interruption in blood flow to an area of your body.
Apr. 03, 2014
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- Foot care. American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/foot-complications/foot-care.html. Accessed Nov. 12, 2013.
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- Eekhof AH, et al. Interventions for ingrowing toenails. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD001541.pub3/abstract. Accessed Nov. 12, 2013.
- Canale ST, et al. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 12th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2013. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 13, 2013.
- Goldsmith LA, et al., eds. Fitzpatrick's Dermatology in General Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=740. Accessed Nov. 14, 2013.
- Living with Diabetes: Foot complications. American Diabetes Association. http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications/foot-complications. Accessed Nov. 14, 2013.
- Goldstein BG, et al. Paronychia and ingrown toenails. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 14, 2013.
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