Patient – Ingrowing Toenail


  • Ingrowing toenails occur when the hard nail plate causes a wound in the soft flesh around the nail.
  • They can be very painful and become infected.
  • There may be an overgrowth of tissue around the nail due to irritation of the wound.

How did I get this?

  • Direct trauma from tight footwear or stubbing your toe
  • Long term pressure from a thickened or curved toenail
  • Poor nail cutting leaving a sharp corner on the nail
  • Swollen toes and sweaty feet can weaken the skin around the nail.

What can I do about it?

  • Avoid footwear which presses on the toe.
  • Bathe the foot in salt water and apply an antiseptic dressing.
  • Trim the toenail as short as possible but do not cut into the painful side

What help can I get for this?

  • A podiatrist can remove the part of the nail that is causing the problem. This may be done under local anaesthetic if necessary.
  • A Podiatrist can advise on appropriate footwear and how to avoid further problems.
  • A doctor may prescribe antibiotics if the toe is infected, however the nail will still need treatment to prevent further infection
  • A Podiatrist can permanently remove the problem piece of nail and prevent regrowth. This procedure is performed under local anaesthetic and is a lasting solution

When will it get better?

  • Without treatment the nail will continue to grow and penetrate the wound.
  • Removal of the piece of nail provides immediate relief.
  • Careful nail care and the right shoes can prevent recurring problems

Ingrown toenail