An ingrown toenail is where one or both sides of the nail cuts into the skin, which becomes very painful and inflamed leading to infection. Generally, it affects the big toe, but can occur on lesser toes. The most common causes are not cutting nails correctly, ill fitting shoes and excessively curved nails (Involuted). They can affect all ages, but tend to be commonly found in young males, especially football players.
A podiatrist can remove the corner of the nail or spike that is digging in with minimal pain and discomfort. If the area is infected, then antibiotics may be required before treatment can be carried out. Once the offending spicule is removed, the toe will feel better immediately. The problem may occur again, however the podiatrist can give advice on how to prevent this.