How ingrown toenails are treated

Ingrown toenails can be painful and uncomfortable, and if left untreated, they can lead to infection. If you suspect that you have an ingrown toenail, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent complications. Here’s a closer look at how ingrown toenails are treated and what you can do to alleviate discomfort and prevent infection.

If the ingrown toenail is causing pain or is accompanied by redness, swelling, or discharge, you should see a podiatrist for treatment. Depending on the level of ingrown issue, the podiatrist may offer different options.

Mild ingrown toenails:
We would prescribe a topical antibiotic and trim or resect the offending nail. We would provide direction on footwear and exercise recommendations. We can also offer nail bracing which is a non-surgical ingrown toenail solution to help train your nail to grow straighter and not irritate the sulci or skin of your toe.

Moderate to severe ingrown toenails:
In this cases a more aggressive treatment, such as removing the ingrown portion of the toenail will be required.

The Podiatrist may recommend surgically removing the ingrown portion of the toenail and phenolise the area to prevent the ingrown nail from growing back. This procedure is completed in a podiatrists clinic. You will receive injection of local anaesthetic to numb the toe, the nail removed and the toe cleaned up, then the toe is bandaged up.
After the procedure, your toe will be numb to begin with. The toe will be bandaged, and you may need to take antibiotics to prevent infection. You will be given instructions on how to keep it clean and dry for a few days and have reviews with the podiatrist to ensure it’s healing well. You may be given a medical certificate for time off work dependant on your occupation, but usually are only needing to be careful on your feet for 48hours. If you’re worried about time off work, we can schedule surgery on Friday afternoon so you have the weekend to recover before work on Monday.

Podiatrist are best placed to be treating ingrowing toenails, and have very successful outcomes with mild, moderate and severe ingrown toenails. There are many options available, surgical and non-surgical.