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ingrowing toenail

Ingrowing Toenails

What are Ingrowing Toenails?

An ingrowing toe nail is a common condition that occurs when the toe nail pierces the flesh of the toe; it can be very painful and often becomes infected.  It most commonly affects the big toe nail, but can affect any of the other toes.   There are many reasons that you may have developed an ingrowing toenail.  Tight footwear and certain foot deformities such as bunions and hammer toes can cause your nails to change shape and dig in.  However, the most common cause is not cutting your toe nails properly.  If you cut your nails too short or leave a spur of nail at the side of the nail, you are at risk of developing an ingrown nail.

How are Ingrowing Toenails treated?

Most of the time, it is possible to treat the painful nail conservatively by removing the spur of nail that is causing the pain; this can be done under local anaesthesia if required.  Sometimes, where conservative treatment fails, a minor operation is required to permanently remove either part of the nail, or the whole nail.