Ingrown Toenails

Definition: When the edge of the nail grows down and into the skin of the toe.

Medical terminology: onychocryptosis


What are ingrown toenails?

Ingrown toenails occur when the edge of nail grows down and into the skin surrounding the nail. Ingrown toenails can occur with improper nail cutting technique, trauma and even ill-fitting footwear that are too tight. The nail is driven into the skin creating a small wound that can cause pain or serious discomfort. It is common for an ingrown toenail to be painful, red, and have swelling around the nail. Without proper care, an ingrown toenail can lead to an infection.

What are the signs of an ingrown toenail?

  • Painful, tender toe
  • Red, warm and mildly swollen toe
  • Increased warmth
  • Possible yellowish or whitish coloured drainage (pus) from a sore

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What is the treatment for ingrown toenails?

  • Slightly ingrown nails can be carefully removed using a nail nipper
  • Gently packing small pieces of cotton ball underneath the nail to remove pressure

For more severe ingrown nails, a simple in-office nail surgery procedure can remove the problematic nail with a very low chance of regrowth

Ways YOU can prevent ingrown toenails

  • Trim toenails straight across the top
  • Avoid tight footwear, make sure your toes have enough room
  • DO NOT cut down the sides of the nail as this can lead to a further ingrown nail
  • DO NOT try to cut out the ingrown portion of the nail yourself, this will only make the problem worse