New announcement. Learn more

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an ingrown toenail?

It is when the nail grows into the sulcus or skin groove on the side of the nail, it is often painful and can cause inflammation leading to an infection in surrounding tissue if left untreated.

What are the signs and symptoms of an ingrown toenail?

  • Pain / Tenderness of the toenail area

  • Redness of the skin are surrounding the nail

  • Swelling around the nail

  • Pus around the area that is tender 

What causes ingrown toenails?

  • Trimming your nails too short

  • Rounding the edges shorter at the sides of the nails

  • Poorly fitting footwear

  • Trauma

  • Family history

Can I ignore it and hope it goes away?

Because it is a mechanical issue (Nail growing into the skin) it will not go away on its own and can become infected.  If the infection is untreated this can cause a more systemic infection.  It is best to get the underlying cause (ingrown toenail) fixed to prevent further issues.

How do I treat an ingrown nail?

See a podiatrist who will remove the ingrown part of the nail in the first instance.  They will then advise you on a plan that can prevent further ingrown toenails.  Ingrown toenails can be treated through nail surgery, nail bracing and education around early detection and prevention of an ingrown nail.

How do I prevent getting ingrown toenails?

  • Trim your nails often – cut them straight across .

  • Wear shoes that fit well – ensure they are not too tight in the toe area, you should be able to comfortably wiggle your toes when in your shoes.

  • If your feet sweat a lot try to use an antiperspirant and moisture wicking socks.

How do I know if I need nail surgery?

If your nail is red, inflamed and/or infected, or if you continue to have reoccurring ingrown nails you will need a part or all of the nail removed, your podiatrist will assess this at your appointment and give you the right treatment course for your needs.

Will the cost of treatment be covered by my health insurance?

You will need to check with your service provider if Podiatry is covered under your policy.

If I have my nail removed will I need to take time off work?

On the day of the procedure, you may like to take it a bit easy, and it is recommended to not be standing for long periods of time for the first 24 hours.

Where does the procedure take place?

The Podiatrist will remove part or all of the nail in the podiatry clinic.

Can I still wear my normal shoes after having a nail or partial nail removed?

For the first week after your procedure, you will have a dressing on your toenail so wearing shoes that are comfortable with plenty of space is recommended.

Is having your nail removed painful?

Having a total or partial nail avulsion (removal of the involved nail) is performed with local anaesthetic which will numb the area throughout the procedure. It may feel a little uncomfortable for the first 24 hours however we would expect you to feel relief soon after.