Ingrown Toenail Care

Ingrown toenails occur when the edges of the toenail grow into the surrounding skin, causing pain, swelling, and potential infection. 

What are the causes of ingrown toenails?

Several factors can contribute to the development of ingrown toenails:

      1. Improper Nail Trimming: Cutting toenails too short or rounding the edges can encourage the nail to grow into the surrounding skin.

      1. Poor Fitting Shoes: Shoes that are too tight or narrow can compress the toes, causing the toenails to dig into the skin.

      1. Trauma or Injury: Stubbing your toe or other forms of trauma can lead to ingrown toenails.

      1. Genetics: Some people may have a genetic predisposition to ingrown toenails.

      1. Curved or Irregularly Shaped Nails: The shape of the toenail can contribute to ingrown toenails. Curved or unusually shaped nails may be more prone to growing into the skin.

      1. Poor Foot Hygiene: Inadequate cleaning of the feet or not keeping the toenails properly trimmed can increase the risk of ingrown toenails.

      1. Medical Conditions: Certain health conditions, such as fungal infections or nail diseases, can affect the growth and structure of the toenails, making ingrown toenails more likely.

      1. Excessive Sweating: Excessive moisture around the toes, often due to sweaty feet, can soften the skin, making it easier for the nail to penetrate the surrounding tissue.

    I think I have an ingrown toenail, what should I do?

    At My Podiatrist Canberra, our approach to ingrown toenails begins with a thorough examination to determine the severity and potential causes. We actually treat so many ingrown toenails, that we have a dedicated website and business for ingrown nails called Ingrown Toenail Care.

    Book a free 15 minute Ingrown Toenail consultation where the podiatrist will examine and assess your toes and advise you on how to resolve it. Note that no treatment is provided during this appointment, only advice.

    What are the  treatment options for ingrown toenails?

    For mild cases, conservative treatments are often effective, including warm soaks to reduce inflammation and nail trimming techniques to prevent further ingrowth and paronychia. Patient education is a key component of our ingrown toenail management, providing insights into proper nail care, footwear choices, and preventive measures to empower individuals in maintaining healthy and pain-free feet.

    In cases where ingrown toenails persist or are recurrent, our podiatrists may introduce further  solutions such as nail bracing. This non-invasive method involves applying a specialised brace to the nail, gradually reshaping it to relieve pressure on the surrounding skin.

    For more advanced or persistent cases, a minor surgical procedure called a Partial Nail Avulsion may be recommended. This procedure involves the removal of the ingrown portion of the nail under local anaesthesia, ensuring minimal discomfort. Post-procedure, patients receive detailed care instructions to promote proper healing and prevent recurrence. Our podiatrists are highly experienced in ingrown toenail surgery and have a success rate of over 97%. They are also experienced in conducting “re-do” surgeries from previously failed surgeries from others.

    In some extreme cases a TNA or Total Nail Avulsion may be warranted. This is a procedure where the complete toenail is removed. The podiatrist can determine whether the nail root is kept or killed.  

    What is the recovery time for toenail surgery?

    Generally, Surgery will require 1 day off your feet, 1 week in open toed footwear and 1 month of dressing. 

    How can I prevent ingrown toenails in my child?  Ensure proper nail-cutting techniques, trim nails straight across, and avoid cutting too close to the skin. Also, make sure your child wears well-fitting shoes to prevent pressure on the toes.

    What is the best way to care for ingrown toenails at home? 

    Soaking the foot in warm water and keeping the area clean can help. However, if the issue persists or worsens, it’s advisable to consult with a podiatrist.

    If you are struggling with ingrown toenails, book a free 15 minute Ingrown Toenail Assessment to explore your options today.