An ingrown toenail is when your nail grows into the skin surrounding the nail. It can be very painful and can often become infected. Most people suffer from ingrown toenails on their big toes, but sometimes if can affect the smaller ones too.
Ingrown toe nails can be caused from incorrect cutting of the nail, trauma, picking, tight footwear, poor foot hygiene or increased moisture around the toes, genetics and abnormal curvature of the nails.
Your podiatrist will assess the area and provide the appropriate management. While you are waiting to see your podiatrist, keep the area clean with the use of saline or salty water and appropriate antiseptic. Don’t try to treat the area yourself. This often leads to the condition being much worse.
Some ingrown toenails can be persistent, even with professional treatment. Podiatrists are trained to conduct ingrown toenail surgery. The problematic nail edge is removed under local anaesthetic. A chemical is used to burn the cells where the nail edge grows from so it doesn’t grow back. For further information about this procedure speak to your podiatrist.