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Ingrowing Toenails - What Should You Do?

Ingrowing toenails are nails that dig in at the sides of the toes, going under the folds of skin. They can become evident by the pain and irritation they cause, swelling of the surrounding skin, and infection to the area.

According to Mississauga Foot Clinic, the toe becomes - along with the pain - swollen, tender, with warmth and redness, and can include a yellow or white-coloured pus at the sore point.

An ingrowing toenail can range from a slight 'sliver' of nail in the skin, to a more invasive piece of nail, and the way to treat the problem may depend on the degree to which the nail 'digs' in.

To better understand how ingrowing toenails can be dealt with, please consider the following methods to treat them:

Conservative Ingrowing Toenail Removal

If the nail is not severely growing in at the side, it can be treated with a conservative method. This involves trimming the offending piece of nail away from the affected area using nail nippers. The side of the nail can also be filed down to reduce any irritation to the area. Something Mississauga Foot Clinic also recommends is inserting small cotton ball sections under the nail after the procedure, to reduce pressure. This may also allow the nail to grow over the skin, which minimizes the chances of a recurring ingrowing nail.

Ingrowing Toenail Surgery

In more severe cases of ingrowing toenails, a procedure might to required to remove the section of nail permanently. Also called a Partial Avulsion, the nail section is removed right as far as the nail matrix, or growth centre. This is done under anaesthetic to numb the area. A solution such as phenol is added to reduce chances of the nail section growing back.

This method requires a level of after-care, but professionally executed nail avulsions should lead to satisfactory results.

Image 1 Conservative Treatment Image 2 Nail Surgery

As Mississauga Foot Clinic goes onto to add, there are preventative measures that can be taken to avoid ingrowing toenails: trim nails straight across the top and not down the sides, use footwear with sufficient toe space, leave ingrowing toenail trimming to a professional!

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