Ingrown Toe Nails

Symptoms of Ingrown Toe Nails:

  • Ingrown toe nails most often affect the big toes.
  • The ingrown nail is often situated on the inside of the big toe, closest to the 2nd toe.
  • The ingrown nail can be painful and inflamed and red.
  • The nail can pierce the skin causing oozing and infection.Ingrown nails are very common in young adults, especially at the time of a growth spurt.

How to Treat Ingrown Toe Nails:

  1. An ingrown toe nail can usually be managed in the first instance during a medical pedicure and in most cases this will cure the problem. 
  2. A persistent ingrown toe nail can benefit from partial nail avulsion surgery where a small slice of the nail is removed and the nail bed treated at that point to stop that portion of nail re-growing. 
  3. Some ingrown toe nails can be avoided if the nails are cut properly.
  4. Always treat inflamed ingrown nails at home with a warm salt water bath and then dry thoroughly with a soft towel and follow with a light burst of warm heat from a hairdryer.
  5. Use a dry Betadine or antibiotic dry spray on the affected toe nail.


An ingrown toe nail can usually be managed in the first instance during a medical pedicure and in most cases this will cure the problem.   The nail splint will be removed and the patient should stay free of problems if they don’t attempt home care or home cutting of the nail.

Partial nail avulsion surgery is performed in our clinics with the use of a local anaesthetic pain block to the toe. To assess the suitability of the patient a consultation must take place to confirm the diagnosis and discuss the treatment options. The surgery can take around 60 minutes and the wound is dressed and the patient leaves with minimal discomfort.

Follow up will be after 7 days and again at 4-6 weeks post procedure.

All our Podiatrists are HCPC registered and recognised by the various health insurance companies.

Further Tips and Advice for Ingrown Toe Nails:

  • If you are prone to ingrown toe nails try not to interfere with the nail as picking the nails can result in infection. 
  • If you are concerned about an ingrown toe nail use warm salt water to bathe the affected toe and keep it dry.
  • Cut toe nails straight across, never too short and never cutting down at the sides.
  • Don’t allow the toe nails to grow too long as pressure on the end of the nail from footwear will cause the sides of the nail to press into the skin.
  • If you have lycra in your tights or socks make sure they are not pulled too tightly over your toes as this can cause an ingrown toe nail to develop.
  • Prevent this by pulling back the fabric to allow more breathing space.