How do I fix my ingrowing toenail?

September 25, 2016

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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
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Ingrowing toenail before treatment

       

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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
Podiatrist
madeleine@profeetpodiatry.com.au

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.