Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown Toenails

An ingrown toenail can develop when part of a nail pierces the surrounding skin and starts to painfully grow inwards. Ingrown toenails often affect the big toe, though can develop on any of the lesser toes too.They may affect one or both sides of the toenail, on one or both feet.

Once the nail penetrates the skin, the toe becomes vulnerable to complications like infection – especially as the wound can’t heal or close while the nail is piercing it and continues to grow deeper.

What does an ingrown toenail feel like?

Ingrown toenails are relatively easy to identify as you’ll notice redness, swelling and significant pain at the affected nail edge. The symptoms are:

  • Redness
  • Tenderness
  • Inflammation
  • Mild to severe pain on touch, even from bed sheets at night
  • Bleeding where the nail has ingrown
  • Yellow/clear/green discharge – this may indicate the presence of an infection

What caused my ingrown toenail to develop?

Unfortunately, ingrown toenails are often self-inflicted and it is uncommon for them to develop for no reason. Causes may include:

  • A poor nail cutting technique – nails should be cut in a straight, clean line with no fraying or split edges. When nails are curved or rounded at the sides, it may encourage an ingrown toenail to develop.
  • ‘Pulling’ or picking the nails as a form of trimming them – when you pull the nail instead of using suitable tools to cut them in a straight line, a jagged spicule may be left at the edge of the nail where it is ripped off. Often, this spicule is quite deep down the side of the nail where it is not visible or felt – until it starts growing and pierces the skin.
  • Tight footwear – narrow, tight or ill-fitting shoes can create pressure on the sides of the toes that can push the nail into the surrounding skin
  • The shape of the nail – if your nails are naturally curved, pinched, or have been previously damaged, this may also make you more vulnerable to developing an ingrown toenail.

How do you treat ingrown toenails?

We offer both one-off and permanent solutions for ingrown toenails – you can read about them on our ingrown toenail treatment page here.

Need your ingrown toenail fixed ASAP?

Book your appointment online or contact us today.