An ingrown toenail occurs when the side or edge of the nail penetrates the skin. Pain is the main symptom of an ingrown toenail and usually just starting as some minor discomfort, gradually becoming more painful. The toe is not necessarily infected, but an infection in the toe can develop after the nail penetrates. The infection can spread causing the toe to become red and inflamed. There are several causes of ingrown toenails such as poor cutting of the nail, footwear that is too tight, the inherent shape of the toenail and trauma to the toenail can make it more prone to becoming an ingrown nail. Conservative treatment and prevention consists of soaks, padding over the toe to prevent further irritation and cutting or filing the nail straight across with an appropriate toenail cutter or file. Those with poor circulation or diabetes should not do any self management of ingrown toenails but should see a podiatrist.