Ingrown Toe Nails

What are ingrown toenails?

Also known as onychocryptosis, ingrown toenails are a common condition in which the corner or side of a toenail (usually on the big toe) grows into the soft flesh surrounding it. This results in pain, tenderness, redness, swelling and sometimes an infection (including pus) of the flesh surrounding the nail. The common causes of ingrown toenails are:

  • improper nail cutting
  • ill-fitted footwear
  • toe injuries or trauma
  • fungal infections
  • unusually curved toenails

How Active Foot Care Clinic and Orthotic Centre can help

If your ingrown toenail pain is severe or spreading, our certified chiropodist/foot care specialist can take steps to relieve your discomfort and help you avoid complications from ingrown toenails:

  • remove all or part of the ingrown toenail
  • elevate the end of the nail plate to prevent intrusion on the soft tissues
  • drain any infection you may have
  • prescribe an oral or topical antibiotic for infection
  • advise you on special foot soaks
  • surgical adjustment

You’re at greater risk of complications if you leave an ingrown toenail undetected or untreated, such as bone, foot, leg or blood infection. If you have diabetes or another condition that causes poor blood flow to your feet, an ingrown toenail has the potential of evolving into a more severe medical condition like foot ulcers or gangrene. Or you may experience recurring ingrown toenails. In such cases, permanent surgical correction of an ingrown toenail may be required. A referral to an orthopedic surgeon would be advised.