Poor nail clipping is usually blamed for causing ingrown toenails, but this is not necessarily the case. The subsequent factors are complex in the cause of ingrown toenails:

  • The main risk factor is the shape of the nails – nails that are curved from side to side rather than being flat are more likely to be ingrown toenails. Poor cuts on this types of nail can leave sharp angles that will initially cause symptoms by applying pressure to the skin that will penetrating the skin. Cutting too far to the side is a common cause of ingrown toenails.
  • Tighter footwear tends to increase pressure between the skin in the folds of the nails and nails, thereby increasing the risk of ingrown toenails.
  • Previous trauma to the nail can change the shape of the nail, making it more prone to ingrown toenails.
  • Pressure from the toes next to the ingrown toenail can sometimes be a factor.
  • “Fat” or fleshy toes more allow the nail to grow into it. Those with many swollen feet are more prone to experience this.
ingrown toenails

Symptoms of ingrown toenails

Pain is the main symptom of ingrown toenails – usually just beginning due to some minor discomfort. This may be just pressured from the side of the nail or maybe because the nail has penetrated the skin to the side of the nail. The toe is not necessarily infected, but it can develop after the nail penetrates the skin until it grows inward. Therefore is it is important to seek Podiatry assistance early, ideally as soon as the first feelings of pain and discomfort arise. If the nail penetrates the skin and triggers infection, the toe will become inflamed, making it more painful to treat and slower to heal and resolve. Pus collection can also develop.

Treatment for ingrown toenails

A skilled podiatrist can easily remove angles or surges that have penetrated the skin, often with a little discomfort. If ingrown nails are too painful, a local anaesthesia may be needed to do this. Don’t forget that unless the offending nail piece that causes the ingrown toenail is removed, the infection will likely persist.

At East Adelaide Podiatry we provide a variety of specialist nail care prevention methods and treatment. Our Podiatrists pride themselves in being gentle in such sensitive, painful nail cases. Once we have removed the offending ingrown nail, we can retrain the nails to grow without complications. We also offer preventative treatments aiming to re-shape the nail to be less prone to these issues, such as Onyfix. This nail correction system is appropriate in some cases when the nail is very curved, but the nail hasn’t thickened too much. 

In rare circumstances surgery can be necessary. We can refer for nail surgery to permanently remove the edges of the nail to stop persistent reoccurrences. 

East Adelaide Podiatry is committed to providing high-quality foot care specific to your needs. We will put your nails back on the right path to pain free comfort.