When a toenail is ‘ingrown’ it’s curved and grows into the skin, usually at the sides of the nail. This ‘digging in’ of the nail can cause pain, redness and inflammation.
If an ingrown nail causes a break in the skin, bacteria may enter and cause an infection in the area.
The commonest cause of ingrown toenails is cutting your nails too short. However, they can also be caused by:
If left untreated, an infection can develop, making the problem worse.
Your doctor will be able to diagnose the condition from a physical examination and discussion of your symptoms.
The operation is designed to allow the toenail to grow back straight because only part of the nail and its nail-bed (where the nail grows from) is removed. In some cases, often in older people, the whole nail-bed can be removed, in which case the nail will not re-grow.
Important: This information is only a guideline to help you understand your treatment and what to expect. Everyone is different and your rehabilitation may be quicker or slower than other people’s. Please contact us for advice if you’re worried about any aspect of your health or recovery.