The most common nail impairment is an ingrown toenail. The corners of the toenails can dig into the soft skin surrounding the nail causing pain and even infection.
Usually the big toe will have an ingrown toenail but other toes can be affected. The cause of an ingrown toenail is trimming the toenails to short, shoe pressure, crowding of the toes by ill fitting shoes, repeated trauma to the feet from normal activities, and heredity.
If an infection is present the foot can be soaked in a solution of warm salt water followed by an application of an antiseptic and bandage.
Next make an appointment to see your podiatrist for an evaluation. They can safely trim the nail to ease pain and pressure and possibly prescribe medication if needed. If you suffer from diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, or any other circulatory disease do not self treat the problem.
Seek the care of a podiatrist immediately. To prevent ingrown toenails trim nails straight across making sure they are no longer than the tip of the toe, where comfortable shoes that allow movement, and disinfect instruments used to cut nails.