Ingrown Toenails

What is an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail occurs when the side of the toenail grows into the skin which can result in pain and infection. More commonly it affects the big toenails, but can occur on any toenail.

What are the symptoms of onychocryptosis?

  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Inflamed skin
  • Swelling
  • Infection

What are the causes of an ingrown toenail?

  • Injuring/trauma to a toenail
  • Having a wide nail plate
  • Cutting the toenails to short or not straight across
  • Wearing shoes that are too tight
  • Nail infections
  • Certain medical conditions 

When should I see a Podiatrist?

As soon as there are signs of an ingrown toenail it is best to get it addressed to prevent infection and avoid further complications.  A Podiatrist can relieve your discomfort at the first appointment.

If there is reduced blood flow to the feet you are at greater risk of complications of ingrown toenails.

A Podiatrist fixing a painful ingrown toenail

How to prevent ingrown toenails?

  • Ensure your toenails are cut straight across. You can see a podiatrist regularly to have your nails trimmed if you are having difficulty managing them on your own. 
  • Don’t wear shoes that are too small – the pressure from your shoes may direct a nail to grow into the tissue.
  • Keep your toenails to a moderate length. 
  • If you have diabetes or poor circulation check your feet daily for signs of ingrown toenails or other foot problems.

You may be at higher risk of ingrown toenails if you:

  • Have a condition that causes reduced blood flow to the feet such as diabetes
  • Having difficulty cutting your toenails
  • Wearing too tight shoes
  • Participating in activities that can cause injury to the nails such as running, hiking, football
  • Having feet that tend to perspire more, causing softer nails and skin.

Treatments for ingrown toenails

There are a variety of treatments a Podiatrist can use to reduce the discomfort of an ingrown toenail depending on the severity. These include:

The Onyfix nail correction system

This treatment is a versatile and new product that enables painless treatment of involuted and ingrown toenails. 

A Podiatrist can adapt the system individually and fixes it to your nail, which will then guide it into its natural shape as it grows. 

It consists of a primer which acts as an adhesion 

The benefits of onyfix include:

  • Rapid pain alleviation
  • Pain free treatment
  • Corrects the nail through the physiological nail growth
  • No restrictions of patient activities
  • Nail polish can still be used

Nail surgery (partial nail avulsion)

When an ingrown toenail becomes recurring, surgery is likely to be the best option. It is recommended if non-invasive and conservative treatments are unsuccessful. Surgery involves removing the nail edge under local anesthetic and is a permanent solution to avoid continual discomfort. To prevent nail regrowth the nail is phenolised at the base.

It is a quick procedure (just 45 to 60 minutes) which a Podiatrist can undertake at the clinic. After healing it will look like a normal nail, with a quick recovery time.

All our Podiatrists at Momentum Podiatry can help ease your discomfort for an ingrown toenail. Book an appointment here today to discuss your options.

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