Ingrown Nails


What are Ingrown Toe Nails


Ingrown toenails are painful conditions that affect the sides of the toenail. Generally ingrown toe nails affect the great toe but they can also occur in the lesser toes

They can look infected and generally do not respond to antibiotics

Causes of ingrown Toe Nails

There are two main causes of ingrown toe nails

1. Nail shape and improper cutting technique
2. Overly sweaty feet (particularly common in teenagers)


1. Nail shape and improper cutting technique

Improper Cutting Abnormal Nail
Features Normal nail plate Abnormally wide or abnormally curved
Treatment – Advice on nail cutting
– Removal of the offending nail spike
– Partial nail avulsion is rarely required
– Advice on nail cutting
– Partial nail avulsion with phenolisation

2. Overly sweaty feet

Overly Sweaty Feet
Features Normal toe nail
Large amount of highly vascular tissue next to the nail usually very painful and bleeds easily
Typically seen in teenagers and those with sweaty feet
Treatment – Advice on nail cutting
– Partial nail avulsion with phenolisation


Complications of Ingrown Toe Nails

  • Infection
  • Cellulitis
  • Pain
  • Permanent toe nail deformity

Treatment options for Ingrown Toe Nails

Treatment will depend on the cause of the ingrown toe nail – see the above table for management

Partial Nail Avulsion

A partial nail avulsion is a small surgical procedure where the side of the nail is removed permanently.

After the surgery the foot needs to be rested for 2 days and the wound needs to be managed properly for 2 weeks.



The Foot and Ankle Centre’s Northcote Podiatrists can help you with all your skin and nail complaints including ingrown toe nails. Make an appointment to get your foot and ankle pain under control.

Expert Podiatrists for the treatment of ingrown toe nails servicing the areas of Northcote, Thornbury, Fitzroy, North Fitzroy, Carlton, North Carlton, Alphington, Fairfield, Brunswick, Coburg and Preston