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.






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As per the government health guidelines on the 22nd of March 2020 non essential services will be closed. This does not include us. While we are still open for our usual services we will be practicing strict and heightened hygiene measures during this time to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

From the PM’s address today, we want to be clear we are not a gym. We are a health care practice, that provides services to optimise health and reduce pain from musculoskeletal injuries and conditions. Our studio team are ensuring complete high grade sanitisation of props and equipment that will only be single person use for each session, and ensuring social distancing. The staff and studio have had no connection to the COVID-19 at this time.

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If answered yes to any of the above, please call the COVID-19 hotline on 1800 020 080.

We ask patients who are at risk to please let us know before your appointment so we can discuss your position. This includes immune-suppressed, the elderly and those who have been in high-risk areas. We also ask that you call the clinic if you do develop COVID-19 or have come in contact with someone who has so we can act according to the government recommendations.

For all treatments, our linen is being changed for every client and a wipe down of all equipment used. We ask that you remain in your car until your treatment time to minimise patient to patient contact in the waiting area. We also ask that you use ‘tap and go’ for your payment method rather than cash. Also we will not require you to sign your health fund slip to minimise cross use of pens between staff and patients. All our door handles and surfaces are regularly being cleaned during the day.

We ask everyone who comes in for group therapy sessions.

Bring a large towel and socks.
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We are understanding of each and everyone’s individual position and we deeply care for your health and encourage everyone to take steps to keep strong and healthy at this time. Please feel free to call or email our staff to voice your concern and receive guidance. We are dedicated to informing you of our position and future movements in relation to Covid-19.

Thank you for your cooperation and support.

TLWS Management team.