Scroll Top

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown Toenails


Why Do Ingrown Toenails Happen
& How do We Treat Them

When the corners or edges of your nails dig into the skin close to the nail, it results in an ingrown toenail. An ingrown toenail is most likely to occur on your big toe.

Ingrown toenails can be treatable at home. They might, however, result in issues that call for medical attention. If you have diabetes or other disorders that impair circulation, your chance of problems is higher.

For expert help and advice find a local chiropodist near you here.

Symptoms of Ingrown Toenails

Painful ingrown toenails typically get worse over time.

Early warning signs include:

  • Skin becoming sore, puffy, or hard near the nail.
  • When the toe is compressed, it hurts.
  • Fluid accumulation around the toe.

The following symptoms could appear if your toe is infected:

  • Swollen red skin
  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Oozing pus
  • The skin around the toe growing too quickly

Ingrown toenails can worsen if left untreated, so get treatment as soon as you can.


A chiropodist or podiatrist will be able to identify an ingrown toenail through a physical examination. You may require an X-ray to see how deeply the nail has penetrated the flesh if your toe appears infected. If your ingrown nail was brought on by an injury, an X-ray can also show that.

You can use the Pure Medicals find a healthcare professional feature to browse local chiropodists or podiatrists if you need assistance finding a specialist in your region.


For both men and women, ingrown toenails can occur. Ingrown toenails may be more common in those with sweaty feet, such as teens, according to the NHS. Because toenails are thicker with age, older persons may also be at higher risk.

An ingrown toenail can result from a number of factors, such as:

  • Incorrectly cut toenails (Cut the nail across rather than at an angle; doing so can encourage the nail to grow into the skin.)
  • Curved, erratic toenails
  • Excessively tight socks and stockings, as well as shoes that are too small, thin, or flat for your feet, can put a lot of strain on the big toes.
  • Kicking a ball repeatedly, dropping something heavy on your foot, or stubbing your toe can all result in toenail injuries.
  • Poor posture.
  • Inappropriate foot care, such as failing to keep your feet dry or clean.
  • Genetic propensity.

You’re more prone to developing ingrown toenails if you use your feet a lot when participating in sporting activities. Activities that require you to repeatedly kick something or bear weight on your feet for extended periods of time might harm your toenails and raise your chance of developing ingrown toenails.

These include:

  • Football
  • Rugby
  • Kickboxing
  • Ballet


An untreated ingrown toenail infection may result in an infection of the toe bone. Foot ulcers, open sores, and a reduction in blood supply to the diseased area are further consequences of toenail infections. At the infection location, tissue might deteriorate or even die.

If you have diabetes, a foot infection may become more serious. Due to the restricted blood flow and sensitive nerves, even a little cut, scrape, or ingrown toenails can get infected very fast. If you have diabetes and are worried about an ingrown toenail infection, make an appointment with your doctor straight away.

Ingrown toenails can recur or show up on several toes at once if you are genetically predisposed to them. Pain, infections, and other unpleasant foot conditions that call for many treatments or operations may have an impact on your quality of life. In this situation, your chiropodist or podiatrist can advise doing a partial or complete Matrixectomy (The medical name for removing the nail’s growing region that is causing the curved ingrown toenail is a Matrixectomy. This enables a long-lasting fix to stop your ingrown toenail from happening again. One of the most frequent conditions addressed by a podiatrist is ingrown toenails, which can happen to anyone at any age).

Learn more about diabetes and foot care.

When to a chiropodist or podiatrist

If you still experience redness, pain, or swelling, you should chiropodist or podiatrist if you have an ingrown toenail. Redness, discomfort, and swelling are excruciatingly painful, especially if you’re feverish.


Non-infected ingrown toenails can typically be treated at home. However, you should get medical attention if your toenail has pierced the skin or there are any signs of infection. Infection warning signs include:

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Puss
  • Warmth

Home Remedies

Try these home remedies for an ingrown toenail:

  • Three to four times per day, spend 15 to 20 minutes soaking your feet in warm water (At other times, your shoes and feet should be kept dry).
  • Use a cotton ball covered in olive oil to keep the skin away from the edge of the toenail.
  • Taking over-the-counter painkillers, such as paracetamol.
  • Apply a steroid cream or a topical antibiotic to prevent infection.

If the symptoms do not improve with home remedies after a few days, consult a podiatrist if the discomfort intensifies or if the nail is making it difficult for you to walk or carry out other activities.

You could require surgery if the toenail does not improve with home remedies or develops an infection. Stop using any home remedies for infections and visit a podiatrist instead.

Medical Treatment

Ingrown toenails can be treated surgically in a variety of ways. The portion of the nail that is digging into your skin is the only one removed with partial nail removal. Your podiatrist first numbs your toe before trimming the nail. Partial nail removal is 98% effective at avoiding further ingrown toenails.

In partial nail removal, the sides of the nail are removed, leaving only the perfectly straight edges. To prevent a recurrence of the ingrown toenail, a piece of cotton is inserted under the remaining segment of the nail. Your podiatrist might also apply phenol, a substance that prevents the nail from regrowing, on your toe.

If thickening is the root cause of your ingrown nail, complete nail removal may be necessary. After administering a local anaesthetic, your podiatrist will perform a surgery known as a Matrixectomy in which the entire nail is removed.

Surgery aftercare

Your toe will be wrapped after surgery, and your podiatrist will send you home. To ensure appropriate toe healing, you’ll probably need to elevate your foot for the following one to two days and wear specific shoes.

Try to stay as still as you can. After surgery, your bandage is often taken off two days later. Your podiatrist will urge you to conduct daily salt water soaks and wear open-toed shoes till your toe recovers. Antibiotics to prevent infection and painkillers will also be supplied.

After a partial nail removal procedure, your toenail will most likely grow back within a few months. A toenail can take more than a year to grow back if the entire nail is removed, including the nail matrix under your skin.


There are various ways to adjust your way of living to prevent ingrown toenails:

  • Make sure the edges of your toenails are straight across and do not curl in.
  • Do not trim your toenails too short.
  • Wear socks, tights, and shoes that fit properly.
  • If you work in dangerous conditions, put on steel-toe boots.
  • Surgery can be required if your toenails are extremely thick or curled in order to stop ingrown nails.