A common problem for a number of our patients is ingrown or ingrowing toenails.  We can offer corrective surgery for advanced cases but we usually try to work with you to find other, less invasive, options where possible.

What is an ingrowing toenail?

Basically it is where the toenail (most commonly on the big toe) begins growing into the surrounding skin.  Obvious signs can be red or swollen skin at the corners of the nail, pain in this area and, in more severe cases, bleeding.  Once the skin is broken the area can be vulnerable to infection, causing pus to build up.

What causes ingrowing toenails?

Ingrowing toenails can result from sharp, broken or damaged nails, and may occur if you stub your toe or drop something heavy onto it.  They are relatively common for runners or those in high impact sports where there is repeated pressure on the toenail from the front of the shoe, and also during pregnancy. Tight footwear, or pressure on your toe can also contribute to ingrown toenails, which is why they can often affect footballers and rugby players.

To reduce the chance of suffering from this, toenails should be cut straight across, not rounded.

What should I do if I have one?

Give us a call or book online to arrange an appointment!  Once we’ve seen your toe we’ll be able to advise on the best course of treatment.  This can depend upon a number of factors including the extent of the damage, your ability to minimise further pressure, and whether there are any signs of infection.  In the meantime, just keep the area clean and try to avoid putting additional pressure on it.