Podiatrists see ingrown toenails on a regular basis & are trained to reshape nails & remove the offending nail piece that has embedded itself into the flesh. We usually do this without the need of a local anaesthetic with minimal pain to the patient. However, we can administer an anaesthetic if the area is extremely difficult to manage. We use sterile instruments & podiatry techniques to help prevent the ingrown toenail from coming back.
We do not recommend people to treat ingrown toenails themselves at home because of the risk of infection. If you leave a rough piece of nail behind, it will cut into the flesh again later when the nail grows forward or when there is pressure on it - e.g. from shoes.
How can we help?
o Remove embedded nail
o Reshape the nail
o Reduce risk of further infection
o Help prevent future problems
Ingrown toenails can be extremely painful. They often occur as a result of the nail growing into the skin/flesh. The nail is essentially cutting into your skin. At first you may feel a slight tenderness but no redness or swelling. Then as the nail grows longer or there is trauma to the area (from shoe pressure or kicking the toe), it begins to press into the skin until it manages to cut the flesh.
What causes ingrown toenails?
o Thick nails
o Nails with a fungal infection
o Nails that curl at the corners
o Or even nails that are too wide for the toe (i.e."Fan shaped")
In some patients, we have found that the best treatment option is to perform nail surgery. Our podiatrists are all trained to perform both partial and total nail alvulsion (removal). Our youngest patient to date is a 12 year old female patient. After ensuring that the patient and their toe is safe for surgery we administer a local anaesthetic and perform the procedure under strict sterile conditions. We use a technique that minimises the chances of the ingrown toenail from growing back. We also provide aftercare appointments to all of our nail surgery patients. While not all ingrown toenails require nail surgery, it is often the best long term treatment option to reduce the chances of any future nail issues.