Ingrown Toenail


This common disorder is due to trimming your toenails too short. The sides of the nail curl down and dig into your skin. An ingrown toenail may also happen if you wear shoes that are too tight or too short. Any of your toenails can get ingrown, but it is most likely to affect your big toes. When you first have an ingrown toenail, it may be hard, swollen and tender. Finally, your skin may start to grow over the ingrown toenail. Sometimes it may get red and infected, and feel very sore. You may see pus drain from it.


To treat an infected ingrown toenail, soak your foot in warm, soapy water several times each day. You may need to gently lift the edge of the ingrown toenail from its embedded position and insert some cotton or waxed dental floss between the nail and your skin. Change this packing every day. If your infection is severe, your doctor may prescribe a course of antibiotics. Learn how to trim your toenails properly. Wear clean socks and open-toed shoes, such as sandals.


If you are in a lot of pain and/or the infection keeps coming back, your GP, podiatrist or surgeon may remove part of your ingrown toenail under a local anaesthetic. The choice is between only the removal of part of the nail (partial nail plate avulsion), removal of the ingrown edge and part of the tissue, which grows new nail (wedge resection), or removal of the entire nail and all the growth potential (Zadek procedure). Ingrown toenails often recur after the lesser procedures.

Contact Us

There are many ways to book an appointment at the Cotswold Foot & Ankle Clinic. This may be a referral from either your GP, Hospital Consultant, Chartered Physiotherapist or Podiatrist.

For insured patients you will need to contact your insurance provider. If self-funding you may make a direct referral, but we prefer if you contact your GP, so they can inform us of your medical background.




Cheltenham Hospital, Nuffield Health
Cheltenham GL51 6SY

The Manor Hospital, Nuffield Health
Oxford OX3 7RP



01242 246 559

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