Ingrown Toenails

Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Ingrown Toenails

An ingrown toenail is when the edge of the nail starts to grow and dig into the skin on the side of the nail. Ingrown nails can be very tender and painful if left untreated.

The area can become inflamed, red, leak discharge and in certain situations become infected which may require antibiotics from your local GP. It is most common for the big toe to become ingrown, however any nail could become ingrown. It’s best to have ingrown nails treated professionally as soon as possible to avoid further complications and infection.

What Causes Ingrown Nails?

The main causes of ingrown toenails can be poor nail cutting or footwear that is too narrow and tight. Narrow footwear at the toes can push the nail too far forwards altering the natural growth of the nail. Another cause is abnormal nail shape – this is when the nail is naturally more curved and therefore more prone to dig into the sides of the skin.

How to Cure Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are best treated when caught in the early stages. If you suspect your nails are starting to become ingrown please seek professional help from one of our Foot Health practitioners. Many home remedies can cause further problems, so it’s best to see a professional and have your ingrown nails treated safely. Please seek help from your GP if you think the nail is infected and may need antibiotics.

Recommended Treatment

  • Visit our Clinics: Our qualified Foot Health Practitioners or Podiatrist can safely cut your toenails and remove the ingrown piece of nail. They can assess the cause of the ingrown nail and advise on how to avoid them in the future.
  • Nail SurgeryIn some cases, further intervention is needed if ingrown toenails keep coming back. If nail surgery is appropriate, one of our podiatrists can remove some/all of the ingrown nail under local anaesthetic. Please contact us to discuss this.
  • Footwear AssessmentIf you are feeling pain or discomfort in the toe box of your shoes because of ingrown nails, one of our qualified shoe fitters can measure your feet, assess your footwear and see if you require more space for your foot.