Ingrown Toe Nails / Onychocryptosis

What is it?

An ingrown toenail is a condition in which the edge or side of the nail has pierced into the skin of the toe. The big toe is mostly affected but can also affect the lesser digits. It can be bilateral or unilateral.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Tenderness to the slightest of pressure


  • Incorrect cutting technique
  • Sweaty feet (hyperhidrosis)
  • Pressure from ill-fitting shoes (narrow or tight)
  • Diseased nail e.g. fungal infection of the nail
  • Nail shape e.g. involuted or very curved nails


Conservative Treatment

The splinter is located by careful probing and removed with nippers and then edge of nail to be smoothed down. Then antiseptic dressing is applied.

Surgical (Nail Wedge Resection)

Local anaesthetic is given and the side of the nail is removed from the root (no stiches required). The root is then cauterised chemically. This option is advised for recurrent ingrown toenails that are frequently infected and unmanageable.