Ingrown Toe Nails and Treatments
An ingrown toenail is when a sharp corner, curved nail edge or spike of nail has broken the skin and causing pain and swelling to the toe. Most commonly, the big toe (hallux) is usually affected, but can occur to any nail.
Causes are usually: a natural excessive curvature of the nail, badly fitting footwear, trauma to site or poor nail cutting techniques.
If you suspect you have an ingrown toenail it is recommended to have a professional help you treat this. Podiatrists can confirm and treat an ingrown nail; they can also give you advice and education on preventing this from reoccurring.
Sometimes if the problem is minor it can be quickly treated with a few appointments of clearing and packing the affected nail edge. However, in some more severe cases, further intricate treatment is required.
At Foot Solutions, our podiatrists can offer nail surgery and nail bracing in store.
This is a more permanent treatment option were the effected nail edge is removed completely and destroyed. This will ensure that the effected nail edge will not grow back and become problematic again in future. This treatment can be carried out on trauma nails as well as infected nails.
This is another treatment that is offered at our clinics. It is a less invasive treatment and does not involve anaesthetic or removal of any nail areas. A strong see-through band is adhered to the top of the nail and left on for four weeks; this band helps to un-curve the nail plate to a flatter nail over time. This treatment cannot be carried out on infected nails including fungal or nails that have been badly traumatised.
- If you suspect you have an ingrown toenail with an infection, bathe the foot in a small basin with warm salty water for no longer than 10-15 minutes. Air dry and cover with dressing. This may be done every day or second day. It is advised to be checked by your GP and they can refer and prescribe anti-biotics if required.
- Podiatrists are foot specialists and will be able to give you advice on the most suitable treatments for you. They can also give you hints and tips to prevent this from reoccurring in the future.
- Be mindful of which shoes you are wearing. Narrow toed shoes or high heeled shoes can place excess pressure on the toes and make the problem worse and possibly more painful.
- It might also be beneficial to take a break from physical sports where the feet are heavily involved; this will help prevent any more trauma to the area.
- Try and not pick at or cut the ingrown nail yourself, it will be best to have a podiatrist do this for you as they have the correct tools and expertise in this field.
If you think you may have an ingrown toenail, or would like more advice on this condition, please book a consultation with one of our podiatrists.
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