Ingrown Toenails

Pain or inflammation of your toenails? We can help.

Ingrown toenails occur when the sides of the nails are trimmed too short, and the corners are tapered so that the nail curves with the shape of the toe. By cutting nails like this, the toenail is encouraged to grow into the skin as the sides of the nail curl down and dig in.

To prevent ingrown nails, always try to trim the nail straight across and use specialised nail clippers rather than scissors.

Issues with toenails are most common on the big toe and are usually more likely to develop with shoes that are too tight or short. A direct trauma such as an injury to the toe or stubbing it can also lead to an ingrown nail.

Teenagers are often more susceptible to ingrown toenails as during adolescence, feet tend to sweat more which causes the skin around the toenail to soften and split.

Early recognition is key as it allows the nail to be treated before it becomes infected. Many ingrown nails can be treated at home, regularly soaking the nail in warm water, wearing comfortable open shoes and taking ibuprofen if pain relief is needed.

If the pain caused by the ingrown nail is severe, it will likely be accompanied by inflammation, swelling and possibly discharge. In this case, it will need to be treated by a podiatrist who will prescribe antibiotics and may need to surgically remove a part of the nail.

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