The Ins & Outs of Ingrown Toenails

The Ins & Outs of Ingrown Toenails

Our friendly podiatrists at podiatrists Perth are experts in delivering high-quality foot care to the people of Perth and surrounds.

Some of the most common questions they get asked are to do with Ingrown toenails. So we thought that we would sit down and have a chat with our lovely Podiatrist Jugat Kaur from Balcatta and Cambridge Podiatry clinics to let you know about we can help you best manage your ingrown toenails.

But first thing’s first…

What is an Ingrown Toenail?

An ingrown toenail is what occurs when your toenails grow into the corner of the nail beds and into the skin. Consequently, this can cause potential infection of the toe and foot.  Such infections can range in severity from mild to severely painful, depending on the extent of growth of the toenail into the skin and the level of infection that follows. If left untreated, the infection can spread through the toe and potentially the foot. It is particularly important to keep an eye on ingrown toenails if you are a diabetic.

What are the symptoms:

  • Tender skin next to the toenail that becomes hard, painful to touch and/or red and swollen
  • Exudate from the side of the toenail and associate pain when pressure applied
  • Swelling and redness of the entire toe

Why do I get Ingrown Toenails?

There are many reasons, why you may be experiencing ingrown toenails. However, some of the most common ones include: 

  • Curved or involuted toenails
  • Incorrect cutting of the toenail
  • Direct pressure or injury to the toes or nail bed

All the above situations will result in a small portion of the toenail to grow into the skin on the side of the nail, which may, in turn, lead to a slight infection developing if not treated soon enough.

Can a Podiatrist Help with Ingrown Toenails?

A Podiatrist can provide both immediate pain relief and long term solutions for ingrown toenails:

  • Immediate relief: this can be provided on the day you see your Podiatrist, they will gently remove the side of the toenail that is growing in, flush the area with salt water and apply a clean dressing for you. They will provide you with details of how to look after it from there.

Permanent solution: this is generally performed after the initial assessment and treatment above as been done at least once, it is called a Partial Nail Avulsion with or without cauterisation (burning) of the nail matrix:

  • A partial nail avulsion is a permanent procedure, used to treat an ingrowing nail. It involves the removal of the portion of the nail which is ingrown and the application of a cauterising chemical known as phenol to the root of the nail to prevent it from re-growing. The procedure takes approximately 45-60 minutes and it is performed under local anaesthetic.


If you are experiencing issues with ingrown toenails, take control today, by leaving your feet in the hand of the experts.