Clear Step Podiatry

Treatment for ingrown toe nails

An ingrown toenail occurs when the side of the nail curls down and grows into the soft tissue and the skin around the nail. It commonly presents in the big toe, though any toe can be affected. The first signs of an ingrown toenail are tenderness at the side of the nail. If left untreated the area is likely to become red, infected and painful. 

While many people inherit the tendency to develop ingrown toenails, ill-fitting shoes, incorrect at-home trimming and poor circulation are all common causes of painful ingrown toenails. If you are attempting to trim your nails at home, cut them straight across and avoid tapering the corners. 

Adults with restricted blood flow in the arteries of the leg are more susceptible to dermatologic conditions, such as ingrowing toenails. Blood is required for healing and when someone has poor circulation, superficial issues can become much more serious.

Conservative Treatment

If you have mild ingrown toenails, or have never had this problem before conservative treatment is the best option for you. 

Conservative treatment involves carefully cutting the affected distal nail edge, in which small sterile nail nippers will be used. Wound dressing changes with topical antiseptic cream will be required until completely healed. Conservative treatment may require ongoing maintenance, depending on the shape of the toenail, severity and duration of the ingrown toenail. This is a highly effective method which does not require local anaesthesia or hospital referral. You will also be provided with a post-procedure patient instruction sheet. 


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