Ingrown Toenail Treatment Perth

Do You Suffer From Ingrown Toenails? You Must Read What Our Podiatrists Have To Say…


An ingrown toenail (or Onychocryptosis) is a condition whereby the growing edge of the nail border penetrates the skin surrounding it. There are varying degrees of involvement, and therefore the signs and symptoms experienced by the patient can vary accordingly. The condition can occur on any toe, however most commonly involves the big toe, and can occur on either border of the nail.


Onychocryptosis can occur at any age; however is predominantly observed in teenagers.

Causes and contributing factors:

  • Poor footwear
  • Trauma to the nail
  • Incorrect trimming of the nails
  • Picking at the nails
  • Excessive sweating
  • Hereditary


The symptoms experienced can range greatly with this condition. The early phase is often associated with minor discomfort or pain. As the condition progresses, sharp pain is a common characteristic, and the surrounding skin can become infected and hypertrophy (hypergranulation tissue). The patient may observe some pus coming out of the area if toenail infection is present. Some patients find the nail so painful, that the weight of the bed sheet becomes almost unbearable.


Treatment of ingrown toenail includes:


Conservative management of this condition is often very effective for immediate pain relief, however recurrence is common. Such methods include the following:

  • Address poorly fitting footwear
  • Avoid picking nails or cutting down the sides (take care to trim straight across)
  • A podiatrist can clear the offending nail border
  • Antibiotics, salt bathes and antiseptic dressings if infection is present


The surgical procedure most commonly performed for this condition is called a ‘partial nail avulsion with phenolisation’. This simple procedure, which can be conducted within an hour under local anaesthetic, is aimed to permanently treat, and prevent the recurrence of an ingrown toenail. The procedure is performed under strict aseptic technique to ensure an optimal result and minimize the risk of acquiring a post-operation infection.
The surgery involves injecting a small portion of anaesthetic into the involved toe so pain can no longer be perceived by the patient. A small wedge of the offending nail border is removed. The final component of the procedure is to drop a small quantity of phenol at the base of the nail growth plate, to effectively cauterize the growth side of the nail to ensure that the thin area of nail removed does not grow back again.
The adverse effects of this procedure are very uncommon; however complications such as recurrence of parts of the ingrown nail, toenail infection, nerve damage, bruising and bleeding can all occur post-operatively.