Painful Ingrown Toenail Treatment and Surgery

Ingrown Toenail Treatment and Surgery

Feb 10, 2022

One of the most common issues that patients come to us with is an ingrown toenail.

Ingrown toenails can present themselves in different ways.  Often the nail looks normal but is painful when pressure is applied.  An ingrown toenail can also be caused due to a sharp pierce of nail. The skin around the affected nail becomes pink, spongy and bleeds easily. This is a protective mechanism of the body to try and protect the skin from the sharp piece of nail.

There are numerous causes for an ingrown toenail, some of which are:

  • Tight fitting footwear
  • Trauma to the nail
  • Incorrect cutting of the nail
  • Pulling or picking at the corner of a nail
  • Nail shape
  • Thickening of the nail

There are two methods of treating an ingrown toenail at Foot Corner:

Conservative treatment                                                                                                              

This treatment modality involves cutting the nail back and removing the small spike or cutting down the sides of the nail causing the issue. This is usually most effective when the ingrown nail has only been present for a short period of time or due to the shape of the toenail.  Commonly, as the nail grows, the ingrown toenail reoccurs. We do this in the vast majority of ingrown toenail cases at Foot Corner.

Nail Surgery Treatment                                                                                                    

Although the word surgery can be scary or off putting, this is quite a simple procedure to carry out. Nail surgery is usually appropriate for patients that have had issues for a longer period of time or if the ingrown nail is at the stage where it is infected or conservative treatment is no longer effective. The procedure involves having a small amount of  local anaesthetic in the affected toe, the troublesome piece of nail is then removed and a chemical is used to stop it growing back. Depending on the presentation of the toe and levels of infection and so on, your podiatrist may decide to remove either a part of the nail or the whole nail. Patients are back on their feet the very next day and back doing the things they love free form ingrown toenail pain. 

Prevention

A few tips to prevent an ingrown nail from happening are:

  1. Make sure that footwear is wide fitting and not squeezing the front of the foot
  2. Always cut your nails straight across and use a file to round the corners rather than using nail clippers.
  3. If you think you might be getting an ingrown toenail then visit us at Foot Corner and we will painlessly remove any spike of nail as soon as possible as this will lessen the chances of it reoccurring.

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