Home / Ingrowing Toenails: 5 Common Causes & Advice

Ingrowing toenails are commonly seen in the clinic they can be very painful and troublesome, they can present in a variety of ways depending on severity, duration, and cause.  Soft tissue infection is common.

(1.) Tight Shoes:

Wearing shoes that are too narrow or short can put increased pressure on the toes creating an ingrowing toenail. Commonly seen in ladies wearing high narrow shoes and footballers who like to have their boots fitting snugly.

(2.) Trauma/Injury:

Dropping items, having your toe trodden and repetitive injuries such as kicking balls can lead to the nail to become inflamed and ingrowing.

(3.) Poor Nail Cutting

Cutting your nails too short or down the sides of the nail can cause injury and lead to an ingrowing nail.

(4.) Nail Picking

picking nails is often a habit like biting your nails, this can cause damage to the nail plate.

(5.) Hereditary

We inherit the shape of our foot often from a parent or relative, this is also the case for nail plates as they often are wider and naturally have an increased curvature to them, creating a higher risk of experiencing an ingrowing toenail

Advice for Treatments

Many ingrowing toenails can be prevented and treated conservatively often if caught early enough.

(1.) Changing footwear

Footwear can play a significant role in growing toenails so checking the length of your shoe and width can help taking pressure away from the toenail.

(2.) Cleaning the Area in Salt Water

Using a bowl of warm water and teaspoon of salt and bathing the area for 5minutes can help cleanse the area.

(3.) Avoid further Injury or Trauma

If sport related such as football or running give the toe a rest from the trauma

(4.) Attend Clinic for advice and treatment

Clinical treatment can vary: initially, this may include advice on nail care and removing a small wedge of the nail and placing a piece of packing at the edge of the nail plate, to act as a buffer. If conservative treatments are unsuccessful nail surgery may be indicated.