Find relief and improve the appearance of ingrown toenails.

Ingrown Toenails Ballarat

What is an Ingrown Toenail?

Ingrown toenails are a common complaint when it comes to feet. The condition, also known as onychocryptosis, occurs when a piece of your nail pierces the groove of the nearby skin and begins to grow into it. It tends to affect the big toe more so than the other toes on your feet.

Ingrown toenails can be a painful issue that can interfere with activities such as walking and wear shoes. Without treatment and care, the area can become inflamed and infected, so it can be beneficial to seek professional help if you are living with an ingrown toenail.

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Symptoms of an Ingrown Toenail

The severity of the symptoms you may experience depend on how far the nail has grown into the surrounding skin.

When looking at an ingrown toenail, you can typically see a portion of the toenail that has grown into the surrounding skin, usually on the side of the toe.

The area can become painful, red and swollen, and may feel tender and warm to touch. If the condition worsens, the skin may be become thick, which in turn can place more pressure on the nail, and the nail can become discoloured or begin to curve. If the skin becomes infected, redness and inflammation may increase, and puss may be present. An untreated infection can lead to serious consequences for the surrounding area and your overall health.

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Common Causes of an Ingrown Toenail

There is a variety of factors that can lead to an ingrown toenail occurring. Reasons may include:
Trauma to area, such as stubbing your toe, dropping a heavy item on it, or repetitive blows during sport can all lead to an ingrown toenail.
Improper nail cutting

This can include:

  • Cutting your
    nails too short
  • Tearing the nail instead of trimming
  • Making the nail too round.
Fungal Infection

Fungal infections in the area can cause the nail to become thicker and more likely to grow into the skin.

Shoes and socks that do not fit well
Tight shoes or socks can put pressure on the nail and skin.
Nail Shape
Having curved or thick toenails may make you more prone to developing an ingrown toenail.
Genetic predisposition
It may sound surprising, but some people may be genetically predisposed to developing ingrown toenails.
Foot Shape
The shape may impact how you place your foot and how footwear presses on your toes.

Treatment For an Ingrown Toenail

Our Ballarat podiatrist can assess your toe and identify the best course of action. This depends on the severity of the nail insertion into the skin, and your symptoms. Options may include:

Nail Trimming
If the nail is significantly affecting the skin, we can use a specific technique to remove the problematic section of the nail to prevent further skin damage and promote more normal nail growth.
Nail Edge Care

We can gently push the skin away from the nail edge to relieve the pressure and avoid further damage.

Pain Relief Medication
Temporarily using appropriate medication can alleviate the pain to enable you to go about your day while the area is recovering. Soaking your foot in warm water can also help.
Appropriate Footwear
We can provide advice regarding what shoes are best to wear while dealing with ingrown toenails and to prevent them occurring.

Treat Your Ingrown Toenail at Modern Medicine

Ingrown toenails can cause a lot of discomfort and be unsightly. Furthermore, what might start out as a minor issue can develop into a serious one quite quickly. If infected, an ingrown toenail can be difficult to treat and may involve medical assistance, such as antibiotics. That is why it is important to seek prompt guidance and treatment from an experienced professional.

If you are having an issue with an ingrown toenail, please contact Modern Medicine to make an appointment to visit our podiatrist.