The best way to handle this pesky problem is, of course, prevention. Rounding the edges of your toenails is one of the main causes of an ingrown toenail, so always cut them straight across. Too-tight shoes are another culprit — ladies that means watch out for super pointy-toed stilettos and flats. And moms, be sure to regularly check that your kids haven’t outgrown their shoes.

Most ingrown toenail treatment can be done easily at home. They are prone to infection, so if you notice any swelling, warmth or puss you should pay a visit to the doctor. Left untreated, an ingrown toenail can lead to disfigurement, loss of the nail and in rare cases a bone infection. Diabetics and people with circulatory problems are at risk for more serious problems so they may want to get it looked at right away.