Ingrown Toenail

Ingrown Toenail


Ingrown toenails occur when the edges or corners of your nails grow into the skin next to the nail. This punctures the skin and can cause it to become infected, inflamed and very painful. 

It can be caused by poor cutting technique, poor fitting shoes, trauma to the nail or just the way your nails are shaped. 

Treatment can be as simple as removing the offending piece of nail that is digging into your skin. Sometimes, however, your podiatrist will need to numb your toe and then surgically remove the problematic portion of the toenail. This can be done in the podiatry rooms with an extended appointment time. Antibiotics may or may not be required depending if the site is infected. 

Recovery is usually managed within a week with the correct care and precautions advised by your podiatrist. The podiatrist will then assess your nail and advise when you can return to sport and specific shoes. 

An ingrown toenail and its surgical removal is a very common condition regularly treated by podiatrists. It is a highly successful and effective treatment for preventing future ingrown toenails.

Our Podiatrists Will Treat Your Painful Ingrown Toenail at One of Our Clinics

You have an ingrown toenail if a corner digs into and punctures the adjacent skin. The condition could cause the toe to become inflamed, infected, and extremely painful. The problem may have occurred due to how your nails are naturally shaped or because of trauma. Make an appointment and get the relief you need sooner rather than later.

Ingrown toenails may grow out and heal on their own in some cases, but not always. Sufferers may experience complications if they do not get treatment for this common condition. The ingrown toenail may become infected or inflamed, leading to a fever and worsening pain. The bacteria may even spread to the bone beneath the nail.

Our Podiatrists Ingrown Toenail Treatment Options

You have already tried home treatment options such as soaking your feet in warm, salty water for 15 to 20 minutes, three to four times a day. You have followed mum’s advice and applied antibiotic cream, bandaged the toe, and taken over-the-counter pain medication.

  • Our podiatrists will diagnose the severity of the problem and propose treatment options to relieve your condition. Basic, conservative therapy will likely involve clearing away any sharp edges, build-up of tissue under the painful edge, and occasionally gently lifting the sore edge with some cotton wool. This is all done without anaesthetic and is pain free. We can lift a slightly ingrown nail that is red and hurts but has no discharge and place waxed dental floss, cotton, or a splint under the ingrown edge to separate it from the tender area. You will need to soak the toe and replace the material at home daily to help the nail grow above the edge of the skin.
  • If the problem returns repeatedly, we might recommend the removal of a fragment of the nail, together with its nail root or underlying tissue, to prevent a recurrence. This procedure is very common and done in the rooms with local anaesthetic. Recovery is quick, and you can walk out of the practice pain free on the day.

Ingrown Toenail Removal Aftercare

  • You will typically have a dressing on the toe for a few days, which will need to stay dry. Once removed, it is recommended you soak the toe in warm salty water daily, and then apply a dressing.
  • We will need to assess your nails before you return to your usual sports or other activities and may advise on what kinds of shoes you should or should not wear and how to change the technique you use when cutting your nails.
  • We regularly and effectively take care of ingrown toenail problems and can prevent them from reoccurring. Talk to our experienced podiatry team if you are dealing with ankle and foot injuries so we can manage them.

We collaborate with other practitioners in Victoria to design the best care. Doctors and physiotherapists are welcome to get in touch. We will provide you with feedback on your patients and how we plan to treat them.

Why You Should Use The Victorian Podiatry Group

We also provide advanced 3-D imaging to create custom-designed orthotics for patients with chronic leg or foot problems that inhibit their lifestyle.

Contact us to book an appointment or if you want more information.

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