What is an ingrown toenail?



An ingrown toenail, also known as "onychocryptosis" is a painful condition in which the sides of the nail press excessively into the nail groove or "sulcus". The pressure of the nail leads to inflammation and breakdown of the skin and results in the nail piercing the flesh of the toe. Ingrown toenails most commonly occur in the big toes but can also occur in the lessor toes and can be one of the most severe causes of foot pain.



Causes of Ingrown Toenails:

  • Genetic factors. Ingrown toenails can be hereditary, that is they run in the family. In these cases they typically develop during the teenage years. 
  • Incorrect nail cutting. Cutting the nails too short and rounding the corners can precipitate the development of ingrown toenails.
  • Trauma. Accidental damage to the nail through injury, sporting activities, etc can lead to an ingrown toenail.
  • Biomechanical Factors. Excessive pronation of the foot can cause lateral pressure and deviation of the big toe resulting in pressure on the nail from the adjacent 2nd toe.
  • Ill fitting shoes. Footwear that is too tight and high heels can lead to ingrown toenails.

Signs and Symptoms of an Ingrown Toenail:

  • Pain along the affected side of the toe.
  • Sensitivity to pressure. The pain can be severe and piercing with the weight of bed sheets when sleeping or from enclosed footwear.
  • Inflammation of the affected side of the toe in the early stages and increasing to the entire nail area if left untreated.
  • Drainage of pus and/or serous fluid tinged with blood.
  • Bacterial infection may be present.



Permanent ingrown toenail treatment is available at either of our locations in Perth: Morley and Warwick.

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Contact us to schedule a visit or upload an image of your ingrown toenail to receive feedback from a practitioner.