Footcare Scotland - The Foot & Ankle Experts
ingrowing toenail

What is an ingrowing toenail?

Ingrowing toenails are painful but easily treated

What is an ingrowing toenail?

An ingrown toenail develops when the sides of the toenail grow into the surrounding skin. The nail curls and pierces the skin, which becomes red, swollen and tender.  The most common cause of ingrowing toenails is when the nail is cut too short, or a spike or spur of nail is left after cutting.  Wearing tightly fitting socks and shoes can also contribute to the development of an ingrowing toenail.  Although we often see ingrowing toenails is adolescent children, it is also very common in older people.  As we get older the shape of our nails can change making the nail dig into the skin.

How are they treated?

Ingrowing toenails are normally very easy to treat.  Your Podiatrist should be able to treat your ingrowing nail conservatively and with minimal pain, by cutting and shaping the nail to make sure that there is no spike of nail left.  This can be done under local anaesthesia if required.  Where conservative treatment fails, a small operation may be required.  The operation is carried out under local anaesthesia and, other than the injections, is completely painless.  You Podiatrist will most likely remove a small section of the nail so that it no longer digs into the toe.  A chemical is then applied to the nail bed to stop that section of nail from regrowing.  Healing takes around 4-6 weeks on average and the procedure is 95% successful.  For more information on nail surgery, see our blog here

If you are suffering from an ingrowing toenail, don’t delay, get it treated as soon as possible.  Call (01738) 451 567  or BOOK HERE

Article by Alastair Dall