Ingrown Toenail

Ingrown Toenail

What Is Ingrown Toenail?

An ingrown toenail is a common nail condition of the feet that occurs when the nail is cut into the sides of the skin of the toe. It is often caused by the way the toenail is cut or the natural curve of the nail. Some of the common treatments include partial or total ingrown nail removal which will be done under local anaesthesia.

An ingrown toenail can cause serious pain when wearing shoes or walking. The condition usually starts when a nail grows into the skin of the toe, causing a small wound. In the beginning, the condition is rarely painful. However, if left untreated, the skin break will not heal and an infection can happen. The result is a red, hot, and swollen toe, often seen with pus discharging from the sides.

It is vital to understand that taking antibiotics or applying antiseptic ointment will not cure an infected ingrown toenail because the nail spike is still sitting in the flesh. These medications can only contain the infection.

Causes of Ingrown Toenail

Ingrown toenails are generally caused by the way you trim your nails or a change in the shape of the toenails. Individuals with toenails that are either highly curved, known as involuted nails, or very wide nail plates, are at high risk of developing ingrown toenails. Without proper treatment, it can lead to recurrent ingrown toenails.

Common causes of ingrown toenails include:

  • Trauma to the toenail (e.g stubbed toe, stepped on by others)
  • Cutting toenails in a curved manner (“rainbow-shaped”)
  • Tight-fitting footwear
  • Picking the nails
  • Regular pedicure sessions


Factors that can lead to a change in nail shape:

Signs and symptoms of Ingrown Toenail - Straits Podiatry Singapore.

Ingrown Toenail Signs & Symptoms

  • Nail edge that curves into the sides of the skin
  • Painful, inflamed sides of the toenail with surrounding redness, warmth, and pus on occasion.
  • Bleeding from the sides of the affected toenail
  • Pain when wearing enclosed footwear
  • Sometimes an extra piece of “flesh” grows out, also known as a granuloma.
Ingrown Toenail Treatment Singapore. How to treat ingrown toenails? Straits Podiatry

Ingrown Toenail Treatment

Treatment options for ingrown toenails can provide either temporary pain relief or a permanent cure. Understanding the cause and likelihood of recurrence is essential before deciding the best treatment option.

At Straits Podiatry, we offer a permanent ingrown toenail treatment for as quickly as 30 minutes on the day of the appointment. This is done using a minimally invasive procedure known as partial nail avulsion with matrixectomy. It is a fast, painless and proven treatment, especially for recurrent cases.

Other treatment options include:

  • Trimming the nail spike for short-term pain relief
  • Antiseptic foot soaks to prevent infections
  • Proper wound care daily if there is active bleeding or discharge
  • Customised foot orthoses may be considered if flat feet or bunions are present
Ingrown Toenail Treatment Singapore (Partial Nail Avulsion) - Straits Podiatry

Ingrown Toenail Prevention

Repeated episodes of an ingrown toenail can easily happen once you have had it before, therefore it is essential to know how to prevent the condition from occurring.

Steps that you can do to prevent ingrown toenails from developing include:

  • Avoid tight-fitting footwear
  • Cutting nails straight across and not curved down the edges
  • Round any sharp nail edges with a file after each trim


Things you should do when you have an ingrown toenail:

  • Avoid doing pedicure
  • Do not attempt to pick or pull out any nail spikes yourself
  • Keep the area covered with an antiseptic dressing
  • Seek medical attention if the area becomes red, swollen, or pus is seen


Improper handling of an ingrowing toenail can result in serious infection, especially in patients with low immunity. Many patients often neglect the condition in its early stages and ended up with severe pain and infection. If you are experiencing pain at the sides of the toenail, look for a podiatrist to receive a proper ingrown toenail treatment.

When Should I Consult a Podiatrist?

  • If you experience pain and swelling at the sides of the toenails
  • If you have been suffering from repeated episodes of possible ingrowing toenail
  • If you are seeking a long-term resolution to your ingrown toenail

Do You Have A Question? Ask Us...