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What is this? an ingrown toenail ?

I've always felt like It's an ingrown toenail but I don't think it is, it doesn't feel like Its ingrown and Its been like this for 2 years or so, I haven't really got around to fixing it.

It releases fluid and builds up a hard surface that I rip off from time to time, it also stinks bad.
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First Helper User Profile Gaelic

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replied December 10th, 2012
Especially eHealthy

That looks like a classic paronychia. This is an infection of the nail fold. It can be started by an ingrown nail, but that is not the only cause.

If the infection is caused by bacteria, then debridement of the pus in the area, and some antibiotics are the usual treatment. But, sometimes these can also be caused by a fungual/yeast infection. In some cases of chronic paronychia, there can be the formation of what is called “proud flesh”. This is a granulation tissue, which actually looks sort of like ground beef. There is a specific treatment for this, which is usually the application of silver nitrate.

If the local wound care and medicine does not clear up the infection, sometimes the nail plate (or part of it) has to be removed to allow all of the infection to be released.

If warm salt soaks and local treatment of the area does not clear it up, you probably need to see a podiatrist (DPM - foot doctor) for treatment. If left untreated, it is possible for the infection to spread. Besides, these are usually very tender, so most patient would like to get rid of them.

Good luck.
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Users who thank Gaelic for this post: Viuxn 

replied December 10th, 2012
"If you have bacterial paronychia, soaking your nail in hot water 2 or 3 times a day helps reduce swelling and pain.

Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. In severe cases, your doctor may cut and drain the sore with a sharp instrument. Part of the nail may need to be removed."

Is it painful, the part where they cut and drain the sore with a sharp instrument? Or remove part of the nail?

I don't want that to happen because it seems frightening if I just push it a little and it gives this amount of pain, so a sharp instrument entering it will just kill me.
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replied December 10th, 2012
How exactly would a doctor get rid of it? Removing the whole nail? And is it painful?

How can I treat it myself if that is still possible? It's been around for like 2 years and I've been ignoring it. It sometimes gives me a lot of pain.

Should I not temper with it? (removing the hard pus or whatever it is, as in ripping it off) because I've done that a few times.

I use hydrogen peroxide to get rid of the pus, is that okay?
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