Ingrown Toenails

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woman cutting an ingrown toenail

Ingrown Toenails

What is an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail is a nail that grows into the skin causing pain and infection. Many people are surprised how much an ingrown toenail affects their day-to-day activities. It can make the toe quite red and swollen — and sometimes there is pus involved. No, it’s not pretty.

What causes ingrown toenails?

Ingrown toenails generally develop due to one or a combination of the following:

  • Incorrect toenail cutting technique (i.e. cutting too much or not enough)

  • Natural toenail shape/structure (i.e. curved, broad and/or thick)

  • Wearing socks and/or shoes that don’t fit well

  • Trauma, such as stubbing your toe

sore ingrown toenail
ingrown toenail

Treatment for ingrown toenails

People often come to see us after they have tried to remove the painful section of toenail themselves. This may give some short-term relief, but most of the time the ingrown toenail comes back with a vengeance shortly afterwards.

Our experienced podiatrists can help you by:

  • Carefully removing the offending toenail edge/spike

  • Applying a dressing and giving you daily self-care instructions (if necessary)

  • Referring you to your doctor to get an antibiotic prescription (if necessary)

  • Identifying the reason/s why the ingrown toenail developed

Occasionally an ingrown toenail will not respond to conservative treatment. This is more likely if it’s very severe or has existed for a long time. In this case, our podiatrists may recommend a small surgical procedure to permanently remove the offending toenail edge/spike. But don’t fret — this procedure has a low-complication and high-success rate.