Suffering From an Ingrown Toenail?

May 12, 2018 | Podiatry


An ingrown toenail (Onychocryptosis) occurs when part of the nail penetrates the skin which can often result in an infection. The ingrown nail can also apply pressure in the nail fold area without penetrating the skin – this is not technically an ingrown toenail, but can also be painful (a corn/callus is also common down the side of the nail and is a reaction to pressure, rather than the nail actually penetrating the skin).

Some of the causes of ingrown nails (Onychocryptosis)

The primary risk factor is the shape of the nail – a nail that is more curved from side to side rather than being flat is more likely to become an ingrown nail. The shape of the nail is usually inherited (congenital), but it can be influenced by trauma and/or shoe pressure.

Poor cutting of nails – a sharp corner (or worse, a small spike) can be left that will initially cause symptoms by putting pressure on the skin and then later penetrate the skin. Trimming too far down the sides is a common cause of an ingrown toenail.

Tight/pointy footwear increases the pressure between the skin in the nail fold and nail increasing the risk of an ingrown nail.

Are Antibiotics Necessary?

Antibiotics are often used to treat the infected ingrown toenail but don’t forget that the cause of the infection (the ingrown nail) is still there, so there is not a lot of point in treating the infection while the cause remains. Sometimes antibiotics are used to help the infection clear after the nail has been removed. If the ingrown nail is treated quickly and the patient is in good health it is often possible to avoid the use of antibiotics.

How Does Matthew Treat an Ingrown Toenail?

Often it is possible to resolve an ingrown toenail quickly and easily without anesthetic injections or antibiotics. Skillful removal of the offending piece of the nail can be done using special nail nippers and implements designed specifically for use by trained Podiatrists. There is often very little, to no discomfort and almost instant relief can be obtained. The secret as with most things is early intervention!

Matthew can advise you on the best way to manage the problem and prevent reoccurrence.

Surgical Treatment of Ingrown Toenails

If the ingrown nail is severe, if conservative care is difficult, or if the ingrown toenail does not respond well to conservative care, then minor surgical intervention is a good option. It is a very straightforward procedure that Matthew has performed thousands of times over the last 20 years.

It DOES NOT require the skin of the toe to be cut or stitched!!  It has proven to be an extremely effective treatment especially for severe cases of chronic (long-standing) ingrown nails.

It is done as a simple procedure in the clinic. The appointment is scheduled for 1 hour in order to go through the necessary pre-surgery protocols but the actual procedure takes only 15-20 minutes and the patient is able to walk immediately afterward.

Generally, after the surgery you will need to keep your foot elevated for a few hours and rest is advisable for the remainder of the day. It is advisable not to drive for 12 hours after the procedure. The following day you can return to work or school. It is advisable not to take part in vigorous activities such as running until advised by Matthew. The use of an open toe shoe to reduce pressure on the area also facilitates healing.

DO NOT SUFFER ANY LONGER WITH INGROWN PAINFUL TOENAILS.

THERE IS A SOLUTION.

BOOK IN TODAY FOR AN INITIAL ASSESSMENT.

IF MATTHEW CAN NOT HELP YOU, THE APPOINTMENT WILL BE FREE!