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Ingrown Toenail


What Is An Ingrown Toenail?

An ingrown toenail occurs when the side of the toenail curls down and pierces the flesh of the toe as the nail grows. Untreated ingrown toenails can easily become infected.

What Are The Symptoms Of An Ingrown Toenail?

The most common symptoms of an ingrown toenail are:
  • Pain (often severe) along the side(s) of your toenail
  • Redness around your toenail
  • Swelling of the tissue around your toenail
If pain and redness is accompanied by pus, this can indicate that an ingrown toenail has become infected.

While waiting for an appointment with a chiropodist to treat an infected ingrown toenail, the following may help to manage the infection and reduce pain:

  • Foot soaks in (Epsom) salt water bath
  • Gently clean the area of pus and blood
  • Apply sparing amounts of Polysporin ointment and cover with a bandage when going out
  • Wear shoes with a wide toebox to reduce pressures
  • Avoid injury and participation in sport activity which may exacerbate the problem
  • Do not cut the toenail yourself as it may make the problem worse or make it more difficult for the chiropodist to treat conservatively

How Do I Treat An Ingrown Toenail?

If you experience symptoms for more than three days, you should have your toenail assessed. To schedule best foot care treatment appointment with our licensed Chiropodists (foot specialists), use the booking form below or call 416-769-FEET(3338). You do not need a referral to become a patient at our foot clinic.
Ingrown toenail treatment may include:
  • Placing a spacer or splint under the ingrown edge of the toenail
  • Advising to soak feet in Epsom salt and water bath at home to flush out the infection and manage pain and inflammation
  • Trimming the ingrown portion of the nail
  • In recurrent cases, surgical removal (outpatient) of part of your toenail and the underlying nail bed
  • If your toenail becomes infected you may need topical or oral antibiotics
Rapid treatment by a foot care specialist is especially important for individuals with diabetesIf left untreated, an ingrown toenail can cause severe complications including:
  • Severe infection
  • Sepsis
  • Ulcers
  • Gangrene
  • Amputation
Sometimes, underlying biomechanical conditions can increase pressure on the toes and nails, which can lead to ingrowing nails. Correcting biomechanics with custom foot orthotics or orthopedic shoes following a biomechanical assessment and gait analysis may further relieve ingrown toe nails.
Risk Factors

What Can Cause Ingrown Toenails?

Certain risk factors may increase your chances of getting an ingrown toenail:
  • Trimming your nails too short (particularly your big toenail)
  • Tapering or rounding your toenails
  • Excessive sweating (plantar hyperhidrosis)
  • Having flat feet
  • Wearing shoes that are too tight, short, or narrow
  • Naturally wide nails which can become difficult to trim
  • Genetics – naturally curved nails
  • Injury to the toenail

How Do I Prevent An Ingrown Toenail?

In order to prevent ingrown toenails:
  • Avoid shoes that crowd your toes
  • Trim your toenails straight across and file the corners
  • Avoid injury to your toenails
Articles about Ingrown Toenail by Feet First Clinic

Book an appointment for ingrown toenail

You do not need a referral to become a patient at our foot clinic. Schedule an appointment by using the Appointment Request form below or contact the clinic at 416-769-FEET(3338).