Who does it affect?
Ingrowing toenails tend to occur more commonly in
younger people particularly adolescents. They tend to occur with people
who have quite thin brittle nails, old people with moist skin as in
adolescents, old people with curved toenails. They can be directly
caused by inappropriate trimming of the nails by cutting down the side,
leaving a spiky nail or they can occur spontaneously.
Pain is the overwhelming symptom with redness,
swelling and often infection in the early stages. If they are left
untreated they often go on to become grossly swollen with thickened
inflammatory tissue (hypo granulation tissue).
If they are treated early they can be treated very
simply by removing the offending spike of nail and this can be done very
simply without needing to resort to a surgical procedure. At this point
education can be given on the appropriate ways to trim the nails without
If they are left without early treatment and they
develop into an infected in growing toenail with hypergranulation tissue
then often a surgical procedure is required where the side of the nail
is removed usually under either a local or general anaesthetic. In
recurrent or very advanced cases the whole nail can be removed where the
nail bed is treated with a chemical or is removed surgically and
stitched. It is important to note that early treatment is strongly