Ingrown toenails (onychocryptosis) are a very common problem for people of all ages and are due to the nail protruding into the skin. Causes can be varied and include individual nail shape, poor cutting technique or nail picking, tight fitting footwear, participation in sports such football and reduced skin integrity.

Treatment first involves assessment by a qualified podiatrist

  • Majority of the time only conservative treatment is required and involves removing the ingrown portion of nail allowing the skin to heal. This can usually be completed without the use of a local anaesthetic. Pain relief is often instantaneous.
  • Partial nail Avulsion with Phenolisation – Long term solution for recurrent ingrown toenails that have not previously or not expected to respond to conservative therapy. This is where we completely remove the edge of the nail and apply phenolic acid to stop the nail regrowing on that side. (see photo attached)
  • Total nail Avulsion with Penalisation which is the complete and permanent removal of a toenail. This is performed in highly pathological nails.

Without the removal of the ingrown portion of nail it is unlikely to heal on its own. Antibiotics are sometimes required to treat associated infections but do not treat the overall problem relating to the nail.

If you suspect you have an ingrown toenail consult a podiatrist today.

Call us at Erina Podiatry on (02) 4365 2477 or book online at