Sue Ferguson
Chiropodist and Podiatrist in Tenterden, Kent
LOCATION: Home | Common Foot Problems | Ingrowing Toenails Registered with the Health and Care Professions Council
Registration No. CH16194

Ingrowing or Ingrown Toenails


An ingrown toenail is where the edge of the nail (usually the first toe nail) grows into the skin at the side of the nail producing intense pain, and sometimes redness, swelling and infection.

Ingrowing toenails can be caused by tight shoes, poor foot function or incorrect toe nail cutting. Conservative treatment such as removing a slight piece of nail from the side of the nail often relieves the pain and will help resolve any bacterial infection present.

If however the toenail is constantly a problem and you have frequent episodes of infection then permanent removal of a small section of the side of the nail should be considered. A local anaesthetic is used to numb the nail before this procedure.


Do you suffer from:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Infection
Ingrowing toenail showing swelling and redness
Infected ingrowing toenail
Ingrown toenail showing swelling and redness
Infected ingrowing toenail

Why do ingrown nails occur?
  • The toenail is involuted (curved)
  • The nail is sharp and ragged
  • Incorrect cutting
  • Nail picking or tearing
  • Incorrect shoes
  • Genetic factors


Home Treatment for Ingrowing Toenail
  • If the area is infected soak the foot in warm salt water (tablespoon of salt) for 10 minutes twice/day
  • Try to push back the skin at the side of the nail
  • Push a tiny piece of cotton wool under the nail to help keep the nail and the skin away from each other
  • Cut nails straight across


Professional Treatment for Ingrowing Toenail
  • Routine removal of a sliver of nail by a chiropodist or podiatrist every 4-6 weeks or as and when the toe becomes painful, OR
  • Ingrown Toenail Surgery with local anaesthesia - partial nail avulsion or total nail removal. A small piece at the side of the offending nail or the total nail can be removed once the area is numb from the local anaesthetic


Contact Sue Ferguson
Book an appointment now to help your foot pain
Tel: 01580 765546

Sue Ferguson
BSc (Hons), MRCPod
Chiropodist and Podiatrist

2 St Benets Court
Kent TN30 6QS
Tel: 01580 765546