Ingrown Nail Treatments in Chelsea

Toenails come in all shapes and sizes...

Paola Ash - Best Toenail Specialist

Ingrown Toenail Treatments

What is an ingrown toenail?

Onychocryptosis or ingrown toenail is a usual pathology of the toenail component, mainly affecting teenagers and young adults. An ingrown nail comes from Greek word: ὄνυξ (onyx) ‘nail’ and κρυπτός (kryptos) ‘hidden’, is a common form of nail disease. In french word, it is ongle incarné and in italian, it is unghia incarnita. The ingrown toenail is in charge for disabling complaints like discomfort and difficulty in walking. It is linked with significant morbidity, hampering the quality of life as it affects with sporting activities, work, or school. It principally occurs in the big toe (hallux).

Furthermore, Ingrown toenails account for about 20% of foot problems in primary foot care. The most frequently affected toe is the big toe. Also, ingrown big toenail happens most commonly in young men, and footwear and nail care habits are most often contributory factors.

 What causes ingrown toenails?

You will have an ingrown toenail if you are:

  • putting too much pressure on your toe nails by wearing tight-fitting shoes, tights, or socks that clutter your toes
  • injuring your toe such as by stubbing it
  • cutting your toenails not straight across or too short
  • having a sweaty feet, which is easier for toe nails to dig in as it makes your skin soft
  • tear or pick the corners of your toe nails

Furthermore, ingrowing nail become more usual in older people for the nails get thicker as we age. Also, they are more prone to people who have circulation problems or diabetes. Ingrown toenail for diabetics should be treated with an extra care as the skin is very sensitive.

What are the Symptoms of Ingrown Toenail?

How to know if you’re getting an ingrown toenail? Ingrown nails may result to a pain all along the edge or at the end of the toe. Aside from localised pain, it may also show the following signs:

  • Sore to touch
  • Hot, tender and swollen area
  • Pain is getting worse when under bed sheets or wearing shoes
  • Hot, swollen and tender area
  • As the condition get worse, it may show redness and may be infected with increased pain
  • In more serious cases, there may be oozing discharge present and growth of hypergranulation tissue

Even if these signs can quite indicate an infected ingrown toenail, these symptoms may also be a result of a subungual corn, an involuted nail or just a thickened toe nail. Hence, it is essential to get a precise diagnosis as wrong treatment could harm the toenail, worsen the pain and cause infections.

Risk Factors of ingrown nail

There are many causes for ingrown toenails. Some of the risk factors include:

  • Incorrect cutting practice – such as cutting your toenails too short or cutting the edges of the toenails encourages the surrounding skin to fold over the nail, and the nail to then push into that piece of skin and pierce it.
  • Slightly curved nails cause the nail to certainly dig into the sides of your toes.
  • Trauma to the nail – for instance, previous injury to the toenail such as kicking it on something hard or dropping something on the toe.
  • Hereditary and genetic factors contributing to the shape of your toes or nails, which makes you more prone to getting ingrown nails.
  • Too much pressure from ill-fitting shoes which crowd your toenails and toes. This may include footwear that are too tight, short or narrow at the end.
  • Sweaty feet – which makes the skin soft and will be easier for the toenails to dig in.

How to prevent Ingrown Toenails?

Prevention is the best treatment for ingrown toenails. Here are some habits you can do:

  • Cut the nail in a right way – trim your toenails straight across from one corner to the other and avoid cutting down the sides of the nail.
  • Maintain good, basic foot hygiene – clean the affected nail with antibacterial soap and apply antiseptic regularly. Make sure the nail is covered and protected with a sterile dressing.
  • Use correct fitting footwear – invest in shoes that are properly fit in your foot which is not to wide and too narrow. You don’t want to put too much pressure from the footwear against the side of the nail.
  • Avoid bathroom surgery – hacking away at your toenails yourself will only make your situation worse. Using unsuitable and non-sterile tools can lead to more damage or even infection of the affected nail.

Ingrown Nail Treatments – How to get rid of an ingrown toenail?

What are some ingrown nail treatments that can help? 

The normal care is currently on conservative treatment of ingrown toenail like the gutter splint technique in the initial stages. Surgical correction is the treatment to choose in cases where they are resistant to medical management or recurrent.

How to fix ingrown toenail? Non surgical  ingrown toenail treatments like:

  • soaking the foot in warm, soapy water;
  • inserting dental floss or cotton wisps under the ingrown nail edge; and
  • gutter splint with or without the placement of an acrylic nail.

However, for conditions which have no signs of progress using the conservative procedures, surgical treatment will be suggested. Surgical methods include:

  • Partial nail avulsion or complete nail excision with or without phenolization
  • Radiofrequency
  • Electrocautery
  • Carbon dioxide laser ablation of the nail matrix

Even though there is no ideal procedure, lateral nail plate avulsion with lateral matricectomy by phenol is typically used and conveyed to be more effective in decreasing recurrences. Numerous ingrown nail treatments can be discuss by a podiatrist to you.

Ingrown Toenail Surgery Cost

Worst ingrown toenail that is not treatable by conservative treatments may lead the podiatrist to the last resort which is nail surgery. The cost of ingrown toenail removal depends on whether it is a partial or total (whole) removal.


Therefore, ingrowing toe nail surgery carries a greater risk of postoperative infection compared to other procedures made by podiatric surgeons. Radical excision of toenail bed was linked with higher postoperative infection rates than other ingrown toenail procedures. Procedures done in an office setting carry a greater risk of infection. 

At the Chelsea Clinic chiropodists and podiatrist we only recommend measures we have mentioned above for the present time. We are here to help you and to treat an infected ingrown toenail.  Let us make you pain-free as soon as possible. Paola Ash, our main podiatrist, is a nail specialist who can assist with your nail problem.

For more information call us ☎️ at + 44 (0) 207 101 4000 or email us 📩 at  We look forward to speaking with you.

South Kensington Podiatrist – Toenail Specialist

Learn more about Plantar Fasciitis


Alexander J. Terrill, Katie J. Green, Angelo Salerno & Paul A. Butterworth. Journal of Foot and Ankle Research volume 13, Article number: 48 (2020)

Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. Ingrown Toenails. May-Jun 2012;78(3):279-89. DOI: 10.4103/0378-6323.95442.


EJ Mayeaux Jr, Charles Carter, Tenley E. Murphy. Am Fam Physician. Ingrown Toenail Management. 2019 Aug 1;100(3):158-164

Martínez-Nova A, Sánchez-Rodríguez R & Alonso-Peña D (2007). A new onychocryptosis classification and treatment plan. J Am Podiatr Med Assoc Vol 97: 389-93.

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 Will an ingrown toenail heal itself?

 Mild ingrown toenails can naturally heal as the nail grows out.  But severe and infected ingrown nails need to be treated by a doctor.  Knowing the indications of an ingrown nail infection will help you determine if a visit to the doctor is necessary.

How to cut toenails to avoid ingrown?

Cut your toenails straight across to avoid getting ingrown toenails.  For many people, it is simplest to complete this task in two cuts: the first, where the clippers are placed just off the side of the nail to form a straight edge; the second, where the remaining nail is removed along the line of the straight cut.

How to know if you have an ingrown toenail?

Indications that you may have an ingrown toenail include:  turned red, painful, swollen, and an oozing pus.  There is pain when pressure is placed on the toe and there is an overgrowth of skin around the toe.  Your toe may also be infected. There may also be a fluid build up around the toe.

How long for an ingrown toenail to heal?

The pus should be gone in two days and the nail should be healed up in two weeks.  Also, it can also be noted that the pain will be gone in one week.  However, it will still depend on how severe it is.  The podiatrist can let you know about the healing progress of your toenail.



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