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Ingrown nail

An ingrown nail is an abnormal digging of the nail into the surrounding skin. This causes pain and develops an inflammation of the skin, called a whitlow. Over time, if the ingrown nail is not treated properly, an infection can develop at the offending nail site. Often, the wound forms on the side of the nail or at the top corner. The ingrown nail is very painful and usually located on the big toe.



About this condition

Ingrown nails can be caused by improperly trimmed nails or by tearing them instead of trimming them with nail clippers. It can also be caused by an overly curved nail, either hereditary or acquired over time. In addition, an ingrown nail can develop following trauma to the toe or the presence of a fungus on the nail (onychomycosis). Finally, an ingrown nail can be caused by wearing an inappropriate shoe, either too narrow, too small or too tight.


Since there is inflammation, it is important to treat an ingrown nail as soon as possible to avoid aggravating the condition. For people with diabetes, it is strongly recommended to consult a podiatrist quickly because they are at greater risk of complications since diabetes alters blood circulation and decreases the ability to fight infections.




In case of ingrown toenails, to avoid them and/or while you are waiting for your appointment with one of our podiatrists:

Wear shoes, boots or sandals of the right width, length and depth

Use nail clippers to trim your nails rather than "tearing" them

Avoid trimming the corners too short

Soak in 1 liter of warm water and 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt, 15 minutes, 2-3 times a day

Apply antibiotic cream

Consult one of our podiatrists at the Clinique de Podiatrie Montarville

The podiatrist and the foot care nurse assistant can perform a simple cut to clear the offending groove, proceed with the application of a strip or resin (Onyfix®) which is done without pain. The podiatrist can also perform minor surgery in the office to treat the ingrown toenail. Afterwards, the patient will need to have the nail trimmed properly, which will be explained in detail by the foot care nurse and/or podiatrist.

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