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An ingrown nail occurs when a spike or rough edge of a toenail has pierced the skin adjacent to the nail edge. Initially, there is a little discomfort but as the nail grows, it can dig further and further in becoming more painful, inflamed and susceptible to infection.

The most common cause is faulty nail cutting, pressure from ill-fitting shoes, and/or trauma from activities (such as ball sports and running). Inherited features such as a wide nail or curved nail further increases the risk of them becoming ingrown.

Initially, treatment is rather conservative. Your Podiatrist will skillfully remove the offending spike of nail, and smooth any rough edges with special instruments. With appropriate follow-up instructions, the nail may grow out and not cause any further problems. In most cases, this procedure is relatively painless and does not require anaesthetic or surgery.

For reoccurring ingrown nails, severe cases, or those people who do not respond to conservative treatment, nail surgery is recommended. The procedure is performed by our highly skilled Podiatrists Jake Foley & Patrick Doan in the clinic rooms at Canberra Podiatry.

Under local anaesthetic, a small portion of nail edge is gently removed – including the root where the nail grows from. This section can be treated so the offending side of the nail will not grow back. The patient is left with a slightly narrower nail that continues to grow normally, but without the edge that was constantly becoming ingrown.

This procedure has a high rate of success and because there is no surgical incision, most results are aesthetically pleasing as there are no scars or damage to surrounding skin and remaining nail.

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