How do I know that I have ingrown toenails?

Are you experiencing pain on the side of your first toenail? Are your toenails hard, red, and very tender to touch? Are your great toes swollen and have pus coming out? If your answer is yes, you might have ingrown toenails. 

Ingrown toenails are a very common condition and we have seen quite a lot of patients coming to our clinic and complaining about the condition. Ingrown toenail occurs when the side of the nail curls down and grows into the skin around the nail, mainly affected in the first toe.

Ingrown toenails can make your toe look red, swollen, surrounded by hardened skin as well as making you feel tender and painful when you touch into the nail.

With ingrown toenail, it can become an infection if left untreated and affected to the underlying bone.

There are quite a few treatment options that you can do at home:

  • Soak your feet in warm water and salt for about 15-20 minutes
  • Using cotton tip to gently push away the skin from the nail
  • Apply petroleum jelly (Vaseline) on the tender area 
  • Wear open-toed shoes or sandals to relieve pressure touching on the nail
  • Take pain relief medication, such as Advil, Panadol,..

However, if the condition gets worse, you should seek treatment from health professionals such as your GP or Podiatrist to assess your toenails and to prevent further infection. 

As a Podiatrist, we are able to help you to remove the nail spikes that cause the pain without using local anesthetic. We can also provide the best advice for you to manage the ingrown toenails and/or to prevent the problem from recurring.


Apart from trimming ingrown toenails with care, as a Podiatrist, we can also perform nail surgery, which is also known as permanent treatment for ingrown toenails. Click on this link to see a blog about nail surgery if you would like to know more about this procedure. 




You can always pop your questions under the comment section or even contact us at (03) 9711 7652. If you would like to book an appointment, the link is here for you as well Book Online | The Footcare Clinic

Thank you,

Kara Pham
The Footcare Clinic


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