Return to Common Foot Complaints

Ingrown Toenails

An ingrown toenail

An ingrown toenail, medically known as onychocryptosis involves a spike of toenail puncturing the skin on the outer edge of the toe and can result in an bacterial infection. Tissue infection symptoms are redness, swelling or throbbing. The pain can

There are numerous potential causes of an ingrown toenail. These include an incorrect nail trimming technique, tight fitting shoes or socks, poor foot hygiene, abnormally curved nail shapes, excessive sweating and trauma sustained to the nail from a kicking sport or wearing high heels.

If you have a painful nail or if you are about to indulge in self-mutilation, call us instead on (07) 5597 1063

It is a myth that a V should be scored in the end of the nail to prevent an ingrown toe nail. The reasoning behind this idea is that if you cut a V in the nail, the edges will grow together as the nail grows itself out. This doesn’t happen – the shape of the nail is pre-determined by the growing area at the base of the toe, not by the end.

Those with impaired circulation or diabetes should not do any self care of their ingrown toenails. See a Podiatrist as soon as possible.

Antibiotics may occasionally be required to treat the infected ingrown toenail, but remember that the cause of the infection (the nail spike) is still in there, so there is not a lot of point in treating the infection without a podiatrist addressing the cause.

A professional podiatrist can easily remove the nail that has penetrated the skin, often quite painlessly. If the ingrown nail is too painful, a local anaesthetic injection may be used to do this without any pain.

Regular treatment by a podiatrist may be needed, depending on the original cause.  If the nail is obviously doomed to a life time of misery, a simple procedure can remove a small strip of nail permanently and stop any further occurrences of ingrown nails forever. This procedure is performed under local anaesthetic in the clinic rooms without the need to go to hospital. This procedure has a high success rate with minimal complications.