Ingrown Toenails

This condition occurs when the edge of the toenail is driven into the toe by shoes (or boots) that are too tight. Ingrown toenails occur most frequently alongside the big toe.  The nail cuts into the side of the toe, creating a shooting pain as it puts pressure on the nerves. Ingrown toenails may also be caused by injury, fungal infection, psoriasis, heredity, or poor foot structure.

What is it?

An ingrown toenail is a condition in which the edges of the nail grow into the surrounding tissue.

What does it look like?

ingrown toenailIngrown toenails start out swollen and tender. Left untreated, they may become increasingly sore, red, and infected. The surrounding skin may start to grow over the ingrown toenail.


infected ingrown toenailInfected, the area becomes extremely painful, red, swollen and pus-filled blisters may develop. At this stage you need the help of your Chiropodist or Podiatrist.

How do you treat it?

You may be able to treat a mildly ingrown toenail at home, by first soaking the area in warm, soapy water, trimming away the ingrown part of the nail, gently lifting the free edge and placing sterile cotton under the nail until the swelling goes down. Those with diabetes should never attempt to remove an ingrown toenail. Specialized diabetic footcare is required.

Many people are not comfortable with in-home treatments, and some are downright squeamish when it comes to their feet. Rather than waiting and hoping for the condition to resolve on its own, we suggest that you contact the Oakville Foot & Orthotic Clinic and make an appointment with Rick Werkman, a Registered Chiropodist, Licensed for Nail Surgery and Local Anesthesia. Use the handy form on the right to request an appointment.

You do not need a doctor’s referral to consult with a Registered Chiropodist regarding Ingrown Nail Surgery, Local Anesthesia, or Injections. Please contact our office today to book your appointment. You may want to check your Third Party/Extended Health Care Plan as you may be covered for our services.

How do you prevent ingrown toenails?

  • Wear proper fitting footwear with enough room in the toe area of the shoe or boot.
  • Trim your toenails straight across, not curved at the edge of the toenail.
  • Nails should be trimmed often and allowed to overhang slightly beyond the skin of the toe. Too long or too short nails can start to grow inward.
  • Ensure that shoes and socks are not too tight.
  • Keep feet clean at all times.

There is a permanent solution for painful ingrown toenails. Everyone at the Oakville Foot & Orthotic Clinic would like to help you today!

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