An ingrown toenail is when the nail of a toe grows into and breaks the skin. This normally happens to the big toe but it can also happen to any nail.
At first, it’s a little painful but if left untreated, it can quickly become infected (and pretty gross). Don’t worry though, we have the answer for how to treat it effectively.
What causes an ingrown toenail?
Many things can cause an ingrown toenail. The most common way is not cutting your toenails straight at the edges (as we’ve all been warned) but there are other causes like extra pressure from a shoe which can cause the nail to dig into the skin, or trauma to the toe like stubbing it or someone standing on your foot.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of an ingrown toenail include a painful, throbbing pain near where the nail meets the skin and it’ll hurt to touch. You might see redness and inflammation around the nail, and if the nail has become infected, there might be oozing and puss. If this looks familiar, get yourself to a Podiatrist as soon as possible.
How to Treat an Ingrown toenail
If you’ve got an ingrown toenail, it’s important to see a Podiatrist as soon as possible.
If the toe is infected then you may also need a course of antibiotics from the GP.
The best and most effective way to treat an ingrown toenail is via toenail surgery. This can be partial nail removal or full nail removal, depending on how severe it is. It’s a simple procedure and can be completed by an experienced Podiatrist in a clinic.
The Podiatrist will numb the surrounding area with a local anaesthetic so the procedure is quick and painless i.e. you don’t need to ‘go under’. You’ll then just need a couple of follow up appointments afterwards to check in with the progress. Once a nail is removed, the ingrown toenail will not regrow.
What are the benefits of toenail surgery?
If you have an ingrown nail (or an unsightly nail that you want to have removed), toenail surgery is the best answer for you. The benefits include:
- Instant removal of the ingrown nail
- A permanent solution to reoccurrence and pain
- Local anaesthetic rather than a general anaesthetic
- Improved aesthetics (after healed)
- No need to visit a hospital
- Minimal time off
- No waiting lists