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Don't put up with the discomfort of ingrown toenails any longer! 
Book an appointment with Southport Podiatry Clinic and say good bye to pain today!

Ingrown toenails

What are ingrown toenails?


Onychocryptosis, better known as ingrown toe nails, is a common nail condition in people of all ages. It is an often painful condition in which the nail digs into or grows into one or both sides of the nail groove. While ingrown nails can occur in the hands, they occur most commonly with toenails. 

An ingrown toenail occurs when a spicule of the nail penetrates the skin which results in an infection. Sometimes, the nail doesn’t penetrate the skin but causes a build up of callus or a corn down the groove of the nail. This condition can be exacerbated by poor nail cutting, ill-fitting shoes or highly incurvated/ 'U' shaped nails.

Causes include:


  • Poor nail cutting. Cutting the nail too short, rounded off at the tip or peeled or picked off at the edges.

  • Bad-fitting shoes. Shoes that are too short can cause pressure at the end of the toes. Shoes that are too narrow can cause the toes to bunch squeezing them together, resulting in one toe to curl and dig into the skin of the neighbouring toe.

  • Trauma to the nail where the nail is forced into the skin. Or damage to the toenail can cause the nail to grow irregularly and press into the flesh.

  • Genetic predisposition, ie inherited from your parents, ie highly incurvated nails, abnormally shaped nail beds, nail deformities caused by diseases, and a susceptibility to nail problems can cause a tendency for nails to ingrow.

  • Circulation. Very poor circulation can result in thick incurvated or distorted nails, which is common in the elderly

How can Southport Podiatry Clinic help?

Nail Cutting

  • Ingrown nails can be avoided by cutting nails straight across; nails should not be cut along a curve, nor should they be cut too short. In both cases, the important thing to avoid is cutting the nail shorter than the flesh around it. Your podiatrist can show you the best of cutting your toe nails .

  • Podiatrists treat the problem by first trying to address the cause and then decide on the options available. This may involve cutting out the afflicting spicule or painful edge of the nail and retrain the nail to grow forward of the nail grove (sulci). Some people benefit from regular nail care to reduce nail discomfort, particularly those with corns under the nails.

  • Some people have toenails that are prone to ingrowing regardless of how they cut them. In these cases, the only permanent solution is to remove the outer margins of the nail through a minor surgical procedure (Partial Nail Avulsion). Podiatrist at Southport Podiatry Clinic are able to do this procedure onsite under local anaesthetic.



  • A lot of the time ingrown toenails come from shoe pressure, i.e. short/narrow shoes. So it is important to assess people’s footwear to help resolve ongoing problems. Sometimes it is difficult to assess and treat the condition yourself, so it is beneficial to get professional advice from a Podiatrist.


For whatever reason for an ingrown toe nail it is certainly a very painful experience and the nail can become acutely infected.

Prevention is best, and a visit to a podiatrist at Southport Podiatry Clinic will determine the best possible treatment for your condition.

*We understand ingrown toe nails can be very painful, so we use the most gentle methods

to ensure our patients are comfortable during treatment*

To make an appointment with a Podiatrist at Southport Podiatry Clinic; please call us, book online using the link below, or send us an e-mail.

For more articles on common foot problems, click here

Call us on 5531 3877 today
to book an appointment with 
Southport Podiatry Clinic
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