About Ingrown Toenails
An ingrown toenail is a painful condition of the toe and occurs when a sharp corner of the toenail digs into the skin at the end of or the side of the toe.
Pain and inflammation can occur before the nail pierces the skin, often followed by bacterial infection of the toe.
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Treatment and Prevention of Ingrown Toenails
Ingrown toenails should be treated as soon as they are recognised. In many cases, people with uninfected ingrown toenails may obtain relief by:
- Soaking the feet in warm saltwater
- Dry them thoroughly with a clean towel
- Apply a mild antiseptic solution to the area
Our clinicians can trim or remove the ingrown nail with a minor in-clinic procedure. We can remove the ingrown spike of the nail or skin and treat minor infection. If excessive inflammation, swelling or discharge is present, the toe has probably become infected and antibiotics may be appropriate from your GP.
What Causes an Ingrown Toenail?
- Tight-fitting shoes or high heels cause the toes to be compressed together and pressures the nail to grow abnormally.
- Incorrect cutting or picking of toenails can cause the corners or a spike of the nail to dig into the skin as it grows.
- Disorders such as fungal infections of the nail can cause a thickened or widened toenail to develop.
- Injury near the nail may cause an ingrown toenail. This could be from stubbing your toe or dropping something onto it.
- If a member of your family has an ingrown toenail, then you are more likely to develop one too.