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What are Ingrown Toenails?

Ingrown toenails is a common condition whereby the corners of the toenail grow into flesh surrounding the nails. It does not differentiate according to gender or age. Although the big toes are most susceptible to being ingrown, all other toenails have the potential to become ingrown.

Ingrown nails occur for various reasons:

  • Wearing tight or ill-fitting shoes
  • Nail plate trauma
  • Naturally curved nails
  • Inappropriate nail trimming technique
  • Cutting nails too short and down the corners
  • Certain medical conditions and medications
  • Certain foot postures

What will I experience?

Individuals suffering from ingrown nails typically present in clinic with pain, redness and swelling to the affected toe. In some cases, pus may be present. Pain associated with this condition can make tasks such as wearing socks or shoes difficult and uncomfortable. If this is not treated, it would result in a wound in the nail sulcus, and does not go away by itself.

For individuals with diabetes, untreated ingrown nails have the potential to lead to even more severe consequences – such as amputations – due to potential nerve damage and poor circulation to the feet.

How can we help you?

A Podiatrist is a specialist to treat and address foot conditions, including nail conditions. We are able to manage ingrown nails for you either conservatively or surgically. If the ingrown nail is a result of trauma or a single episode of inappropriate nail cut technique, conservative methods may be sufficient to eliminate the problem.

Typically, recurrent ingrown nails would warrant a more permanent solution to more effectively address recurrent pain and potential infection to the toe. Our Podiatrist is proficient in performing this minimally invasive procedure with techniques that result in a very low recurrence rate and minimal down time to ensure you get the best outcome possible.

Podiatrists are trained professionals to perform a procedure known as a Partial or Total Nail Avulsion, depending on the condition. This involves making precise cuts to remove the problematic portion, and techniques can be performed to prevent recurrence of that portion of the nail.

Minor procedures would require a thorough assessment of your condition. Depending on your health status, there may be some restrictions. Our Podiatrist will be able to conduct a full assessment for your suitability. Get in touch with us to find out more.

FAQ

I am given antibiotics for my ingrown nails. Does that mean my toe will be fine?
  • Antibiotics are usually prescribed when there is an ongoing infection. Typically this indicates that your ingrown nail is potentially serious, or has be neglected for a long time.
  • Please follow your Doctor’s advice with regards to any prescribed medication.
  • Antibiotics will help with the ongoing infection, but if the offending nail spike or nail portion is not removed, this infection will recur. It is highly advised to seek a medical professional such as a Podiatrist to manage your condition in a safe and sterile environment. This can help to prevent complications that may worsen the condition. Do not hesitate to get in touch with us to see how we may be of help to you!
Can I do something by myself to prevent getting these ingrown toenails?

Here are some helpful tips from our Podiatrist:

  • Trim your toenails straight across and avoid trimming down the corners. You may leave a spike behind which can progress into an ingrown nail.
  • If you are unable to trim your nails appropriately, please see a professional like a Podiatrist to have your nails done.
  • Wear appropriately fitting shoes. Tight and ill-fitting footwear is an easy way for your nail plate to be traumatised and grow into the surrounding skin. For patients with poor sensation, do a manual check of your shoe sizes when you buy them to ensure adequate spaces within the toe box.
  • Ensure that you check your feet daily. Ingrown nails can be detected early due to pain. However, if you have poor sensation, you may not know that if you have an ingrown nail. If you are concerned, feel free to contact us to arrange an appointment for assessment and treatment.