How do I fix my ingrowing toenail?

September 25, 2016


How do I fix my ingrowing toenail?

Ingrowing toenails (IGTN) can be a very painful and frustrating condition. They can limit you from wearing shoes, playing sport or can even disrupt your sleep patterns. I consult at our Geelong, Colac and Drysdale Podiatry clinics and we see this condition nearly everyday! Ingrowing toenails are a conditions we can manage relatively pain free!

What do ingrowing toenails look like? 

  • They are usually red and swollen (but not always)
  • The nail can be embedded in the side of the skin (sulci)
  • A cut may have formed in skin from the nail
  • Fluid and / or infection may be present
  • Sometimes they might not even look angry, they can be just really sore!
  • There can also be excess skin formation (like the picture below) from infection or trauma

Ingrowing toenail before treatment



Ingrowing toenail after treatment

What causes ingrowing toenails? 

Good question! The cause is usually from a few different factors. We identify the factors that are causing your ingrowing nails and we address them!

  1. Nail shape – some people are predisposed to IGTN’s and generally their nail will curve in at the edges
  2. Cutting technique – cutting too deep into the corners can cause an IGTN or make it worse if you are prone to them
  3. Hyperhidrosis – excessive sweating can make the skin soft and cause irritation where the nail meets the skin
  4. Trauma – damage to the nail can cause it to grow misshapen.
  5. Pressure – sometimes the way you walk and / or shoes can increase pressure on the nail and cause it to in grow.

Podiatry Management of ingrowing toenails

We can help!

Short term

  • Remove offending piece of nail using small instruments (we are good at this!)
  • Betadine and sterile dressing to reduce risk of infection
  • Salt water bathing at home until area heals
  • Wearing shoes that are have enough wiggle room around your toes

Long Term

  • Regular nail cutting with Podiatrist
  • Partial Nail Avulsion – permanent removal of portion of nail under local anaesthetic
  • Updating footwear and / or improving the way your feet function

If you have any questions please feel free to call or email me, I would love to help.

If you or someone you know has a sore toe, please call us on 1300 855 189 to make an appointment or book your appointment online. 

Yours in keeping people active, healthy and happy,

Madeleine McMahon

Madeleine McMahon
Podiatrist Madeleine McMahon works at Pro Feet Podiatry’s Drysdale and Colac clinics and particularly enjoys working with children facing developmental issues and also clients with painful ingrowing toenails – an issue she relates to from personal experience. She enjoys helping people reach their fitness and exercise goals.