Ingrown Toenails

Many people suffer from ingrown toenails at some stage of their life. There are many causes that can lead to this painful condition including:

  • Tight or pointed Footwear- this can place pressure on the nail to dig into the toe causing pain. Allow enough room in your shoes, or minimise tight footwear if you are suffering from this condition.
  • Nail shape- some people are genetically predisposed to problem nails as the nail bed is shaped in a ‘U’ that allows the nail to grow over at the sides and into the skin
  • Poor nail cutting- the technique to cut nails is to follow the line of the nail and cut straight across. You can try soaking your feet or trim after shower or bath. Make sure you trim nails very 3 weeks or so- maybe more in warmer months when they may grow faster If needed, gently clean and dry nail grooves with a cotton swab
  • Foot Mechanics- flat feet or pronation (feet rolling inwards) can place more pressure on the inside of the foot. This leads to more pressure on the toe and the nail may dig into the underlying skin causing an Ingrown toenail.


A nail that has pierced the skin of the toe, may also be called involuted nails – is an excessively curved nail that is pressing against the skin of the toe. Both conditions can cause pain, inflammation and possibly infection. Nail surgery is a simple and common procedure performed by Podiatrists to provide effective long term treatment and prevention of Ingrown toenails.

A nail procedure called a Partial Nail Avulsion may be required when an ingrown toenail, or involuted nail, repeatedly gets infected, is continually painful, or you are unable to wear shoes or the condition affects activities of daily living. A podiatrist will be able to examine your nail to determine whether the problem will become recurrent.

Ingrown Toenails

Complete Feet Podiatry provides all types of Ingrown Toenail solutions…


What to do Prior

We ask patients to please bring a pair of open toed footwear eg; sandals, thongs or old shoes. When the offending toe section is removed, this type of shoe will reduce pressure on the toe and accommodate the dressing. Where possible, try to arrange someone to drive you home.

During The Ingrown Toenail Procedure

A Partial Nail Avulsion is a procedure which is performed under local anaesthetic via injection into the toe This comfortably numbs the area. The anaesthetic will generally wear off in 2-3 hours.

Once numb, a tight elastic ring called a tourniquet is applied to the area is dressed with betadine to minimise the risk of infection

The offending portion of the Ingrown toenail is then gently lifted and trimmed away without needing to cut the toe or need stitches. Both sides or the entire nail may be removed in this manner. The chemical phenol may then be applied to prevent regrowth of the offending nail. This chemical also helps to control bleeding and reduce pain levels after the procedure.

Upon completion, the tourniquet is removed and a surgical dressing is applied. Walking immediately afterwards is permitted.


Following Ingrown Toenail Procedure

You should remain off your feet as much as possible for the rest of the day.

If you experience discomfort, paracetamol based pain killers (no aspirin) are generally helpful. If more severe pain occurs please contact the clinic.

The use of open toed shoes is recommended for a couple of days after the procedure to reduce pain or discomfort in the toe. You may resume activity the day after the procedure if trauma to the Ingrown toenail is minimised, and your activity level doesn’t cause undue discomfort.

Keep the original dressing from the day of the surgery on and dry for the next three days. For the two weeks after this, bathe the toe in warm salty water (for 2min) nightly and replace the dressing daily with Betadine and a non-adhesive dressing.

It is important that you follow post-operative instructions provided by your podiatrist and to attend for scheduled post procedure review appointments to minimise the chance of infection.

For further Information call 1300 668 117 or make Appt online