Ingrown Toenails

 Ingrown Toenails

What is an Ingrown Toenail/ Symptoms?

 Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are a very common condition of the feet. It is frequently seen with the big toe but can affect the lesser toes too. An ingrown nail is caused by pressure from the nail edge on the surrounding skin. The longer an ingrown nail is left, the higher the chance of it cutting into the skin. This can then lead to localised inflammation, and potentially cellulitis (infection of the skin). In people with compromised vascular supply, or who are immunocompromised, this can sometimes quickly lead to widespread infection and potentially onychomycosis (infection of the bone)

Ingrown nails can become quite debilitating and limit types of footwear you can wear.

Common causes of ingrown nails are,

  • Incorrect nail cutting, often from cutting too short or round the edge
  • Aggressive pedicures
  • Improper/incorrect fitting footwear
  • Toenail injuries, such as stubbing your toe or dropping a weight on the nail
  • Nail picking
  • Sports, particularly any sports that involves running/sliding movements where shoes may compress the toenails causing the edges to curl

Treatment of an Ingrown Toenail

 Ingrown Toenails

If infection is present (inflammation, redness, pus and blood exudate), you must consult a GP immediately for a course of antibiotics. At home, it’s best to soak the toe with a mix of salt and warm water for 10-15 minutes. It is also important to keep the area sterilised and dressed properly with Betadine and Band-Aid to ensure the area isn’t compromised by environmental bacteria. However, antibiotics are not a solution to ingrown toenails and merely help with the infection. Removal of the offending nail spicule is still necessary. There are 3 options for treatment by your podiatrist.

  1. Remove the offending nail spicule without any need for local anaesthetic. 
  2. Perform nail surgery. 
  3. Nail Bracing -we are one of the few clinics in Perth to provide this option, and is best for young children, patients on anti-coagulants, people who are needle-phobic or are immunocompromised (diabetes) where surgery isn’t indicated.

Please refer to our Ingrown Toenail Blog for more information

 Ingrown Toenails
 Ingrown Toenails
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