An ingrown toenail is defined as a condition where the toenail impinges on the soft tissue either on the side or at the end of the toe. This condition is primarily defined by symptoms. A curled toenail does not necessarily mean one has an ingrown nail. Only if the nail digs into the skin and causes pain and/or infection does it constitute an ingrown toenail.
Treatment can be performed in the office and usually involves numbing the toe with a local anesthetic, removal of the small portion of nail digging into the skin and application of a weak acid to destroy the root of the nail (matrixectomy) in the section removed. The success rate of this procedure if very good, although recurrence of the ingrown nail can occur.