Ingrown Toenails

Frequently asked questions your expert Camden podiatrist hears in his practice include:


  • What causes an ingrown toenail?
  • How do you treat an ingrown toenail at home?
  • Should I get ingrown toe nail surgery?
  • What natural treatments help ingrown toenails?
  • How can you treat an infected ingrown toenail?

 

And the answer to all of these is often impossible to answer without clinically assessing the digit. We understand the thought of someone touching your painful, infected ingrown toenail can be very daunting and stressful. Here at Reform Podiatry, we pride ourselves on our professional expert approach to treating your ingrown toenails, whether that be conservatively or invasive, temporary or permanent. 

 

How do you treat an ingrown toenail?

 

The treatment options suggested will be based on the severity of your ingrown toenail. It is important to know that ingrown toenails do not resolve themselves. If you notice that the toe is becoming increasingly sore, red or malodorous, book in to see a Podiatrist as soon as possible. Similarly, if you are a diabetic, immunocompromised or have issues with healing you need to see your podiatrist straight away. Listed below are the treatment options:

 

  • Routine podiatry care – as they say, prevention is better than the cure. Here at Reform Podiatry Camden, we have a range of patients young and old who see us routinely for toenail care. We professionally cut the nail and clear the nail sulci without any discomfort. This mitigates the risk in having recurrent ingrown toe nails. 
  • Invasive nail treatment – this is best practice for the infected toe. When the patient has been suffering from pain or infected for an extended period of time, your expert podiatrist at Reform Podiatry Camden suggests treatment with a local anaesthetic. This is often the quickest and easiest option to providing symptom resolution – and the benefit, it is completely painless once the toe has been injected with a local anaesthetic. This maximises patient comfort during the consult, whilst also allowing us to do a thorough job of taking out the painful section of nail and allow you to get back to normal as soon as possible.
  • Nail surgery – a series of procedures we specialise in at Reform Podiatry Camden. 
    • Partial Nail Avulsion (PNA) – a PNA is a permanent, quick and effective form of nail surgery performed under local anaesthetic that involves removing the offending section of nail causing the pain. Once the nail and overlying skin is removed, the bed of the nail is cauterised so that section of nail does not grow back
    • Total Nail Avulsion (TNA) – a TNA is considered an extreme approach to ingrown toenail treatment, and often only required in cases where the patient has had recurrent infections, or significant damage to the nail itself. Like the PNA, a TNA is performed under local anaesthetic. Here, the entire nail is removed and the bed is cauterised – meaning the nail will not grow back. These procedures are very infrequent, and are only suggested when other options have been exhausted

 

We understand that not everyone likes needles, and that’s okay. Your expert Macarthur foot doctor has alternative methods of ingrown toenail treatment. We are happy to answer any queries you may have about this delicate topic.

 

What causes an ingrown toenail? 

 

This is a topic covered in greater detail here – (LINK), however in summary the offending piece of nail pierces the skin in the side of the toe causing pain and often infection. Some people acquire these through poor nail cutting technique, and others are predisposed to developing these due to genetics

 

How do you treat an ingrown toenail at home? 

 

We don’t recommend treating the toenail itself, however you can reduce the risk of infection by adopting good anti-septic technique. This includes soaking the toe in a warm saline solution, thoroughly drying it and applying an anti-septic solution such as Betadine or Dettol. We also recommend the toe always have a dressing over it to reduce the risk of further infection. The best way to treat an ingrown toenail is to have a professional look at it.



Should I get ingrown toenail surgery?

 

If you are predisposed to ingrown toenails or have a recurrent history of toe pain, book in to see your friendly podiatrist to further discuss your treatment options. 



How can you treat an infected ingrown toenail?

 

Your podiatry expert in Camden explains you should avoid all home treatment that involves removing the nail yourself. We often see nails that have been aggressively cut, making the discomfort for the patient significantly more than it would be if they left it alone. Often toe’s which have been poorly cut by patients become infected and the nail becomes deeper entrenched in the sulci. Reform Podiatry Camden suggests patients should cut the nail straight, and soak it in a warm saline solution for no longer than two minutes at a time. If you suspect the toenail may be mildly infected – apply some antiseptic solution such as betadine and keep it covered. If it does not resolve, book in to see the friendly staff at Reform Podiatry Camden for an easy resolution of symptoms.