An ingrown toenail develops when the nail grows into the flesh of the toe, causing pain, swelling and redness. In some cases, the ingrown toenail breaks through the skin and allows bacteria to enter the underlying tissues. The resulting infection is typically treated with an antibiotic such as amoxicillin.
When ingrown toenails allow the entry of organisms that cause an infection in the surrounding soft tissue, the condition is known as paronychia, notes MedlinePlus. People with paronychia have very painful and reddened toes, and may develop pus-filled blisters. Paronychia caused by bacterial infections develops suddenly, while fungal infections grow over time.
Amoxicillin is one of the penicillin-like antibiotics that kill specific types of beta-lactamase-producing bacteria. Paronychia caused by Streptococcus, Staphylococcus or E. coli typically responds well to oral amoxicillin, says RxList.
According to Drugs.com, doctors usually prescribe either 250 to 500 mg of amoxicillin three times a day or 500 to 875 mg orally twice a day for adults with paronychia. Infections of the skin and skin structure in children from 4 weeks to 3 months of age are treated with 20 to 30 mg of amoxicillin per day for every kg of body weight. For children from 4 months through 12 years of age with infections from infected toenails, doctors prescribe 20 to 50 mg per day for every kg of body weight. Pediatric doses are divided into two or three equal doses a day.
Amoxicillin is widely available in dosage forms that work for virtually everyone. These include oral suspensions for infants and toddlers, chewable tablets for older children and regular tablets or capsules for those who can safely swallow pills.
Penicillin and penicillin-like antibiotics can cause a severe life-threatening allergy known as anaphylaxis. Individuals with demonstrated allergies to penicillin, ampicillin, dicloxacillin, oxacillin, carbenicillin or combination products like amoxicillin and clavulanate should not take amoxicillin, says RxList. People who have a history of allergies to cephalosporin antibiotics like cephalexin, cefdinir and cefprozil are at greater risk for an amoxicillin allergy. Patients should share drug allergy histories with prescribing doctors before taking a new antibiotic.