Whitby Family Footcare Clinic

107-420 Green St. • Whitby, Ontario • L1N 8R1 905.668.8233

Ingrown Toenails

Almost everyone at some point in their life has suffered from an ingrown toenail. It may have occurred during childhood or happened for the first time as an adult. Whenever it happens, ingrown toenails can be painful and can cause a lot of discomfort when wearing your shoes.

What is an ingrown toenail and how do you know if you have one?

There are two types of ingrown toenail. The 1st type is a non-infected ingrown toenail. It is caused by a curvature of nail that digs into skin by the side of the nail. The curvature of the nail can be moderate to severe. The nail edge causes a callus or a corn to form in the nail groove. Patients will complain they feel a knive edge in the nail groove. The nail will irritate the skin causing redness, soreness but no infection. Any pressure from tight socks or shoes and even your sheets will cause a lot of pain.

What should you do if you have an ingrown nail?

First of all, you should not try to dig or cut away at the nail in the bathroom because you will probably cause an infection and you will still have to come in for treatment. What you need to do is come into the office. It may not be that bad! The treatment will consist of a small piece of nail being cut away from the skin and nail border. We will send you home and you will be happy. You will have significant relieve and in 2 days you will be walking around pain free.

Removal of nail and callus from the nail groove.

Unfortunately, many people let an ingrown toenail go untreated for months hoping it will get better. The 2nd type of ingrown nail is an infected ingrown toenail. In these cases, ingrown toe nails are caused by improper nail cutting or by the cutting action of the curved nail. The toe nail pierces the skin and then continues to grow into the skin. Inflammation occurs when the nail pentrates the skin causing pain, redness, swelling and drainage. In these cases, a surgical nail decompression will be required.

What does a surgical nail decompression mean?

Your toe will be numbed up and a small sliver of nail down to the nail root will removed and a chemical will applied to kill the nail root so it won’t grow back and you don’t have to suffer from this again.
You probably receive a prescription for an antibiotic because most of the time people let their ingrown nails go too long and the infection causes a lot more pain. If you suspect you have the beginnings of an ingrown nail because your toe hurts inside your shoe or the sheets hurt your toe. Do not delay getting treatment for you ingrown nail.