Project Description

Ingrown Toenails

Nail the Pain with Expert Ingrown Toenail Care

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Ingrown Toenails

Nail the Pain with Expert Ingrown Toenail Care

Book Online
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What are ingrown toenails?

Ingrown toenails are a common condition of the toe whereby a corner of the toenail grows into the skin, cutting it and causing pain, inflammation and often infection. This can be extremely painful and your toe is likely to become red, swollen and sore to touch. It may be uncomfortable for you to wear shoes and also cause you difficulty walking normally.

The toe most commonly affected is your big toe, it can occur on only one foot or sometimes both at the same time.

There are some very simple and effective treatment options; Complete Physio use either a conservative or surgical approach depending on the needs and symptoms of each individual patient.

What causes an ingrown toenail?

Toenail problems are among the most common reasons that people see a podiatrist. At Complete Physio we see a large number of people with ingrown toenails. They can affect people of any age, however they tend to be more common in active teenagers, and also the elderly.

Here are some of the most common causes:

  • Poor fitting footwear – wearing shoes that are too tight
  • Genetic nail conditions – having an abnormal shaped nail, or brittle nails that break leaving sharp edges
  • Altered gait (walking) pattern
  • Poorly cut nails – cutting a nail too short or leaving sharp edges
  • Injury – either dropping something on the nail or injuring it playing sports or long distance running
  • Foot irregularity or deformity such as hammer toes or bunions, or having very flat feet or high arches.

Signs and symptoms of ingrown toenails

There are a number of common signs and symptoms of an ingrown toenail; an early symptom is that the surrounding nail becomes red and painful with mild swelling and it may feel warm to touch.

Here are the main signs and symptoms; you may experience some or all of them:

  • Hard skin near the nail
  •  Tenderness around the nail
  •  Swelling around the skin and nail
  •  Toenail may be bleeding
  •  A curved painful toe nail
  •  The toe is painful
  •  Redness around the edge and base of the nail
  •  The toe may be hot
  •  Pus or infection may be present

Early diagnosis and treatment is important, and may affect how this condition is managed, so if you have any of these symptoms then don’t delay in seeking help from one of our expert Podiatrists.

Conservative treatment of ingrown toenails

  • Deep/wide fitting footwear that don’t put pressure on toenail
  • Soaking toe in warm salty water
  •  Conservative trimming of nail completed regularly by a Podiatrist
  •  Nail Surgery – removal of part of the nail or the whole nail

Ingrown toenail surgery

You may be tempted to try and remove a painful ingrown toenail on your own or visit your local nail salon for help, but it’s safer (and far less painful) to have it removed by a professional.
It’s a fairly routine procedure that our expert team of podiatrists can perform under local anaesthetic, as an outpatient procedure at one of our London clinics.
This procedure is very effective and permanent treatment with a very high success rate.

  1. Anaesthesia: After an assessment to determine patient suitability for this procedure. Two local anaesthetic injections are performed to ensure a pain-free procedure.
  2. Nail Removal: Once the toe is numb an appropriate amount of nail will be removed.
  3. Matrix Removal: If performing a permanent procedure a chemical (phenol) will be applied to destroy the exposed nail bed. This ensures that part of the removed nail never grows back again this ensures a 95% success rate.
  4. Dressing & Aftercare: The toe is then dressed with a large bandage.
  • After the procedure you are required to rest and take pain relief (if required).
  • This procedure takes around one hour. You can walk normally afterwards but are required to bring flip flops, and cannot drive for 24 hours.
  1. Healing Time: Healing times may vary on a case by case basis but healthy uncomplicated surgical cases may take up to 3-6 weeks before being fully healed. This healing period is usually painless.

Is the procedure painful?

This procedure is performed under local anaesthetic and as such it is a pain-free operation. Following the procedure there is also usually very little discomfort and most patients do not require any pain relief medication. Some patients experience mild to moderate symptoms which are easily managed with over the counter medication such as paracetamol. We do not advise patients to take aspirin as this medication has a blood thinning action and can increase postoperative bleeding.

Risks of nail surgery

This procedure is a safe and effective method of treating ingrown toenails and is considered the gold standard. As with any procedure there are some risks but these will be discussed during the course of taking informed consent.


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