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An ingrowing toe nail is a painful condition where the toenail digs into the flesh at the edge of the nail bed. The big toe is most commonly affected, however any toenail can become ingrown. The first symptom is often tenderness, or the flesh around the toenail becomes painful to touch. It can also become inflamed (hot, red and swollen) and you may notice discharge from the area as ingrown toenails can often become infected.
Ingrown toenails can be caused by an abnormal shaped nail, where there is naturally an excess curvature of the nail that can cause the nail edges to dig in. It can also be due to wearing shoes that are too narrow around the toes, or heels that are too high which in turn cause the toes to be pushed forward and making the nail dig into the surrounding skin. Occasionally poor nail cutting can encourage the nail to regrow inwards which can also lead to an ingrowing nail.
- CLINIC TREATMENT: ingrowing toenails can often be treated effectively as part of a routine podiatry appointment although in some more serious or persistent cases they may require nail surgery to remove the problematic part of the nail. This is a quick and simple procedure – click here for a list of clinics which provide this.
- SEE YOUR GP: if the nail becomes infected (swelling, discharge, excessively painful) in most cases your GP will need to prescribe antibiotics to clear this up before treatment can be carried out
- NAIL CUTTING: if you’re trimming your toenails at home make sure you use a good pair of clippers and follow the natural shape of the nail bed without cutting too far in at the sides