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In-growing Toe Nails

Margaret Carruthers Podiatrist and Chiropodist | Ingrowing Toe Nails

In-growing toe nails, also known as ‘Onycocryptosis’ is a painful condition of the toe. It occurs when a sharp corner or edge of the toenail digs into the skin around the nail, making the toe painful. The most common signs and symptoms are pain, swelling and redness at the edges of the toes. Later on, extra skin and tissue will grow around the sharp point and, yellow liquid, pus or blood may leak from the nail edges. At this stage the toe may have become infected and professional advice must be sought straight away.

Here at my clinic, your toenail will be treated quickly, often as an emergency, to get a swift resolution and fast pain relief to the problem. With over 20 years of experience you will be offered the most effective treatments available and careful attention will be paid to minimising any discomfort during treatment. This may involve topical pain-relieving gel/ local anaesthetics or in a small number of cases it may be necessary to permanently remove part of the nail. If this is recommended, local anaesthetics will always be used.


I hold a local anaesthetics certificate and you may be offered nail surgery otherwise known as a partial or full nail avulsion, if required.  The operation lasts an hour and most people report little or no pain afterwards, returning to work the next day. This will be discussed with you as part of your treatment plan.  Because this treatment is so successful; should you be part of the 5% widely accepted re-growth rate, a second procedure will be undertaken at no extra charge.

In addition, sometimes your G.P will be notified should antibiotic cover be required. As part of the consultation I will offer advice on how best to prevent an in growing toe-nail occurring again, so that you can manage them better. In cases of extreme anxiety or complicated medical history (for example being on Warfarin) I will always liase closely with your G.P prior to any invasive surgery to get the best experience and outcome possible.  For further information on self-care see resources page


How can I manage my ingrowing toenails at home?

If your toe nail becomes inflamed, give them a foot bath in one-part salt dissolved in 4 parts of hot water (cooled down). Then apply a general-purpose antiseptic. Do this several times a day until you can see me. Cut your toe-nails flat across the top, and never too short; don’t try to cut down the edge of the nail as this may cause an in growing toe nail or make an existing problem worse. If you are diabetic or are unable to feel your toes, always get a podiatrist to cut your nails, as you may not be aware of early warning signs of a painful nail. Always get advice straight away, as this will prevent infection setting in. Here at the clinic I will advise you on all your options to help you manage your feet better. 

What my clients say ...


I had been suffering for weeks with an In-growing toenail. It was incredibly painful and I was a little scared of having anyone touch it. One of my friends had recommended Margaret and although Margaret was very busy she especially made space for me as an emergency patient. Margaret was brilliant, I don’t know why I waited so long in absolute agony. It was all over very quickly and instantly felt a million times better. A while later my young son had the same issue and she was brilliant with him making him feel at ease and again did a fantastic job.


Michele Harper  (Cookies)

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