Ingrown Toenails & Nail Surgery

Ingrown Toenails & Nail Surgery

Have an ingrown toenail? Or perhaps your toe is painful and you’re unsure?

At Balgowlah Podiatry, we are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of ingrown toenails, with 20 years’ experience in providing both immediate relief and permanent solutions to this painful condition.

What causes ingrown toenails?

An ingrown toenail, or onychocryptosis, occurs when the corner or side of the nail grows into the adjacent flesh. This can cause redness, swelling, pain and discharge.

There are various reasons why ingrown toenails occur, but commonly they are caused by one or more of the following:

  • Incorrect cutting technique
  • Picking rather than cutting toenails
  • Tight or ill-fitting footwear – socks and stockings included
  • Trauma
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Some medications

How are ingrown toenails treated?

Treatment of your ingrown toenail will depend on its severity. Ingrown toenails rarely improve over time, so the sooner you seek treatment, the better.

Conservative treatment

We have the skill to quickly and carefully remove the piece of nail that has penetrated the skin with little to no discomfort. However, if the site is painful, then a local anaesthetic can be used.

Once the offending piece of nail is removed, a dressing will be applied, and you will then be given instructions on how to care for your toe at home. Typically, you’ll walk out the door, ready to return to shoes and activity within 1-2 days. You will also be educated on how to best prevent your ingrown toenail from reoccurring.

Surgical treatment

For those stubborn, recurrent ingrown toenails, we offer simple, safe, and effective, minimally invasive surgical procedures that provide a permanent fix.

Our surgical procedures are performed in our Balgowlah clinic, under local anaesthetic, and typically take about 1 hour from start to finish. During this procedure, a chemical (Phenol) is applied to the nail root, which prevents any re-growth or recurrence. This is effective in over 95% of cases.

Once complete, you will walk out of the clinic with your toe dressed and instructions on how to care for your toe during the healing process, which is typically 3-4 weeks. During this time, we will ask you to refrain from impact activity (e.g. running and kicking balls) and swimming/getting the toe wet.

Will my private health insurance cover toenail surgery?

This depends on your individual insurance policy. If you have extras containing podiatry cover, it is likely a portion of the fee will be covered.

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