Ingrowing Toenails (Onychocryptosis)

An ingrowing toenail occurs when a nail penetrates the flesh of the toe.
It can be a nail splinter which digs into the skin causing extreme pain and in more extreme cases it can become infected causing symptoms such as redness, swelling, odor, and discharge.
The most affected toenail is the big toenail but the smaller nails can become ingrowing as well.

Involuted Nails

Involuted nails are toenails that curl into the skin (without piercing the flesh) and can also be extremely painful.

Who gets ingrowing toenails?

 

  • Active, sporty people are particularly prone as they usually get hot sweaty feet
  • Younger people are often quite likely to get them where they pick their nails
  • Those who wear support stockings that squeeze the toes together
  • People wearing shoes with tight toe boxes
  • Sometimes those who have an over-pronating gait pattern
  • People with bunions and/or osteoarthritis in big toe joint
  • Have had a one off or repetitive trauma to the nail
  • Have had a one off or repetitive trauma to the nail
  • People cutting their toenails too low.

Treating Ingrowing Toenails
We can remove the nail spike, or, if it is too painful a local anaesthetic injection may be administered. When appropriate, we can perform nail surgery to remove part/all of the nail and then to treat it with a chemical to prevent regrowth. Education on avoiding ingrowing toenails in the future is also given.

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