What to Do If Your Ingrown Toenail Leaking Pus? 8 Tips See

What to Do If Your Ingrown Toenail Leaking Pus? 8 Tips See

An ingrown toenail can be a painful and uncomfortable condition, but when it starts leaking pus, it signifies an infection that requires immediate attention. At the Foot and Ankle Center of Arizona, led by Dr. Kris A. DiNucci, a renowned Podiatric Foot and Ankle Surgeon, we prioritize providing you with the knowledge and care needed to manage such issues effectively. In this blog post, we will discuss what to do if your ingrown toenail is leaking pus, along with eight essential tips to help you address this condition.

Recognizing the Symptoms of an Ingrown Toenail Leaking Pus

Before delving into treatment options, it’s important to recognize the symptoms of an infected ingrown toenail. These may include:

Redness and swelling around the toenail

  • Pain and tenderness
  • Visible pus or fluid drainage
  • Warmth in the affected area
  • Foul odor from the infected toenail

Clean the Area Thoroughly

When dealing with an ingrown toenail leaking pus, the first step is to clean the affected area thoroughly. Use warm water and mild soap to gently wash the toe. This helps remove any debris and reduces the risk of further infection. Ensure your hands are clean before touching the infected area to avoid introducing more bacteria.

Soak Your Foot

Soaking your foot in warm water can help reduce pain and swelling associated with an ingrown toenail leaking pus. Add Epsom salt to the water to help draw out the pus and soothe the inflammation. Soak your foot for 15-20 minutes, three times a day, for optimal results.

Apply an Antiseptic

After soaking, it’s essential to apply an antiseptic to the infected ingrown toenail. Hydrogen peroxide or an over-the-counter antiseptic solution can be used to disinfect the area. This step is crucial in preventing the infection from spreading and promoting healing.

Use Antibiotic Ointment

Applying a topical antibiotic ointment to the ingrown toenail leaking pus can help combat the infection. Cover the area with a clean bandage to keep the ointment in place and protect the toe from further irritation. Change the bandage daily and reapply the ointment as directed.

Wear Proper Footwear

To avoid aggravating the condition, wear comfortable and breathable footwear that doesn’t put pressure on the ingrown toenail. Tight shoes can worsen the infection and delay healing. Opt for open-toed shoes or sandals when possible to allow air circulation around the infected toe.

Avoid Self-Surgery

While it might be tempting to try to remove the ingrown part of the nail yourself, it’s best to avoid self-surgery. Improperly cutting the nail can lead to further complications and exacerbate the infection. Instead, seek professional medical attention from a podiatrist like Dr. Kris A. DiNucci for safe and effective treatment.

When to See a Doctor

If your ingrown toenail leaking pus does not improve with home treatment, or if the pain and swelling worsen, it’s important to seek medical help. A podiatrist can assess the severity of the infection and provide appropriate treatment, which may include prescription antibiotics or minor surgical procedures to remove the ingrown nail.


Q: What causes an ingrown toenail to leak pus?

A: An ingrown toenail leaks pus due to an infection caused by bacteria entering the broken skin around the nail.

Q: Can I prevent ingrown toenails?

A: Yes, you can prevent ingrown toenails by trimming your nails straight across, wearing properly fitting shoes, and maintaining good foot hygiene.

Q: Is it safe to pop an ingrown toenail blister?

A: No, it is not safe to pop an ingrown toenail blister as it can worsen the infection. Instead, seek professional treatment.

Q: How long does it take for an ingrown toenail infection to heal?

A: The healing time for an ingrown toenail infection varies but can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks with proper treatment.

Q: Can an ingrown toenail heal on its own?

A: Mild cases of ingrown toenails may heal on their own, but if there is an infection and pus, professional treatment is usually necessary.


Dealing with an ingrown toenail leaking pus can be a painful and frustrating experience. However, with proper care and attention, you can effectively manage the infection and promote healing. At the Foot and Ankle Center of Arizona, we are committed to providing excellent patient care and ensuring you have the knowledge you need for optimal foot and ankle health. If you have any concerns or need professional assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to our office in Scottsdale, AZ. Remember, prompt and proper treatment is key to preventing complications and ensuring a swift recovery. Book an appointment and for more information, you can visit our website.


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