Ingrowing Toe Nails

Ingrown toenails, or onychocryptosis, is a common condition seen across all age groups. Symptoms usually include pain, redness, discharge and swelling, with or without infection. Your Podiatrist should be your ‘go to’ person for care as they are well trained in treating this condition, both conservatively and surgically.

Possible causes of ingrown toenails include incorrect cutting, sweaty feet, poorly fitting footwear, trauma, hereditary nail shape (e.g. involuted nails), obesity, or pressure from footwear.


Conservative treatment involves correctly cutting and shaping of the nail, often with removal of an offending splinter of nail. Antibiotics may be required if infection is present. Education on footwear and nail cutting is also a large part of ongoing management.

Recurrent ingrowing nails may require surgical intervention such as a partial nail avulsion with matrix sterilisation. Under local anaesthetic a wedge of nail is removed and the base is sterilised with phenol so it does not grow back. You will be left with a nice straight edge and no scarring. Healing usually takes 2-6 weeks. No sutures are required and patients report minimal discomfort after the procedure.

Return to footwear and work in most cases is the next day.

If you have any questions regarding ingrowing toe nails or any other foot issue please contact us.