Ingrowing Toenails

In-growing toenails are more common than you might think. We often see patients who have struggled with a painful toenail that became infected. They then go and see the GP who offers them antibiotics. This just temporarily solves the problem, and the pain returns once the antibiotics wear off.

This article should inform you of what an ingrown toenail is, how you might get an ingrown toenail, and how to treat this problem.


Characteristics of an in growing nail

  • Painful toe with or without wearing shoes. Pain when walking
  • red and inflamed skin on side of the nail


Infection may be present where the nail may have the following addition of symptoms:

  • Strong odour
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Puss produced from the bulging skin
  • Very painful to touch, in shoes or walking



  • Tight shoes or shoes that are not your size
  • Trauma to the nail, this could be a sports injury, dropping heavy objects on the nail or just bumping the nail into hard surfaces
  • Nail shape if your nails are fan shaped or too curly at the top you may be prone to having ingrowing toenails. This is because it is easy to break wide nails and curly nails can dig into your skin.


Treatment options

It is safe to say that there are not many treatment options available for this issue that offer a permanent solution. If cutting the nail with specialised nail clippers, or getting into better shoes aren't likely to solve your foot pain then nail surgery will solve your foot problem.

Nail surgery is the best option if you are suffering with a more difficult to treat in growing nail. The procedure is carried out with minimal pain and will prevent the nail from growing back the way it used to. Nail surgery involves local anaesthesia thus allowing you to have surgery without experiencing any pain. This will prevent the nail from growing back the way it used to. We apply a medicine to the nail bed to prevent the ingrowing nail from occurring again. More details of this procedure will be discussed with your podiatrist once in clinic.


To prevent a painful in growing nail try the following:

  • Wear wide shoes, making sure there is enough room for your toes to move, even consider purchasing shoes that are 1 size bigger.
  • Wear shoes with an adjustable strap or lace 
  • Stop cutting your nails down the sides only file sharp edges.
  • If while cutting your nail you make a mistake and accidentally cut yourself, see a podiatrist who can help fix the toe without further problems.
  • Soak your feet in salt water to prevent infection from entering the any painful nails.


If you would like more information on this subject or you think you have this problem then don’t hesitate to come into clinic today and we can give you the best advice and treatment so you can become pain free and walk more comfortably.



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