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Ingrown Toenail | Spire Orthopaedic

Ingrown Toenail Treatment & Surgery in Singapore

Ingrown toenails occur when the edges or corners of your nails grow into the skin next to the nail. The result is pain, redness, swelling and, sometimes, an infection. 

You can treat ingrown toenails at home. If you have diabetes or another condition that causes poor blood flow to your feet, you’re at greater risk of complications of ingrown toenails.

What is an Ingrown Toenail?

In Singapore, an ingrown toenail can be more than just a minor annoyance; it can lead to discomfort and pain, affecting your daily life. Understanding this condition is the first step towards finding relief.

A toenail that grows into the surrounding skin is called an ingrown toenail. It causes pain, redness, swelling, and sometimes, infection. It can affect any toe, though it is most common in the big toe.

Symptoms of Ingrown Toenail

Ingrown toenail symptoms include: 

• Pain and tenderness in your toe along one or both sides of the nail 

• Redness around your toenail 

• Swelling of your toe around the nail 

• Infection of the tissue around your toenail 

• The ingrowing toenail may also leak blood and white or yellow pus.

Causes of Ingrown Toenail

Common ingrown toenail causes include: 

• Wearing shoes that crowd your toenails 

• Cutting toenails incorrectly

– E.g. cut straight across, since angling the sides of the nail can encourage the nail to grow into the skin.

• Toenail injury

– including stubbing your toe, dropping something heavy on your foot, or kicking a ball repeatedly 

• Having unusually curved toenails 

• Improper foot hygiene, such as not keeping your feet clean or dry

– Activities in which you repeatedly kick an object or put pressure on your feet for long periods of time can cause toenail damage and increase your risk of ingrown toenails.

– These activities include : ballet, football, kickboxing, soccer.

Risks of Ingrown Toenail

As ingrown nails grow deeper into the skin, they cause a wound that is easily susceptible to infections. If untended, cellulitis can set in, causing severe swelling and redness. When detected or left untreated, ingrown toenails can even infect the underlying bones of the toe, causing an infection of the infection. 

Complications can be especially severe if you have diabetes, which can cause poor blood flow and damage nerves in your feet. 

A difficult-to-heal open sore (foot ulcer) may require surgery to prevent the decay and death of tissue (gangrene). Gangrene results from an interruption in blood flow to an area of your body.

Home Treatments for Ingrown Toenail

To treat your ingrown toenail at home, here are some tips:

● Using over-the-counter medicines, like paracetamol for the pain 

● Applying a topical antibiotic to prevent infection

– If the toenail does not respond to home treatments or antibiotics and an infection occurs, you may need surgery.

Surgery Treatment for Ingrown Toenail

Lifting the nail

For a slightly ingrown nail (redness and pain but no pus), your doctor may carefully lift the ingrowing nail edge and place cotton, dental floss or a splint under it. This separates the nail from the overlying skin and helps the nail grow above the skin edge. 

Partially removing the nail

If the ingrown toenail keeps coming back, the nail may be removed so that the toenail cannot grow again.. Before this procedure, your doctor may temporarily numb your toe by injecting it with a local anaesthetic.

Removing the nail and tissue

If you have the problem repeatedly on the same toe, your doctor may suggest removing a portion of the nail along with the underlying tissue (nail bed). This procedure may prevent that part of your nail from growing back.

Benefits of an Ingrown Toenail Treatment

Pain Relief

Treating the ingrown toenail can provide immediate pain relief, allowing you to walk comfortably again.

Infection Prevention

Ingrown toenails are prone to infection. Treatment helps prevent and treat infections, avoiding more severe complications.

Improved Appearance

Your toenail will grow back normally after removal, enhancing the overall appearance of your toe.

Enhanced Comfort

With the ingrown toenail gone, you can enjoy a life free from the discomfort it brings.

Recovery and Aftercare for Ingrown Toenail Surgery

Recovery and aftercare are essential aspects of ingrown toenail surgery. Here’s what you can expect after an ingrown toenail surgery.

Post-procedure Discomfort

Some discomfort is normal after surgery, but this can be managed with pain relievers recommended by your specialist.

Dressing Changes

Your healthcare provider will provide instructions on changing dressings and cleaning the area.

Foot Elevation

You can help reduce swelling and promote healing by elevating your foot.

Return to Activities

You can usually return to normal activities within a few days, but avoid strenuous exercise until the treatment area is fully healed.

How Much Does Ingrown Toenail Treatment Cost?

The cost of ingrown toenail surgery can vary depending on the extent of the nail growth and the type of procedure needed. It is best to consult us first to learn more about the procedures for treating your condition. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Ingrown Toenail Surgery?

Ingrown toenail surgery is a medical procedure performed by a specialist to remove the ingrown portion of the toenail and prevent it from growing into the surrounding skin.

Is Ingrown Toenail Surgery Painful?

Local anaesthesia is typically used during ingrown toenail surgery to minimise pain. You may experience some discomfort during the procedure, but it is usually well-tolerated.

Are There Any Potential Complications of Ingrown Toenail Surgery?

Although rare, complications can include infection, bleeding, or an ingrown toenail recurring. Your specialist will guide you to minimise these risks.

What Are the Risks of Leaving an Ingrown Toenail Untreated?

Leaving an ingrown toenail untreated can lead to infections, abscesses, and chronic pain. Timely treatment is crucial.

How Soon Can I Return to Normal Activities After Ingrown Toenail Surgery?

You can typically resume most activities within a few days, but following your specialist’s recommendations for a full recovery is essential.

How Can I Prevent Ingrown Toenails From Occurring?

Preventing ingrown toenails involves proper toenail care, including trimming straight across your nails, wearing comfortable shoes, and avoiding tight footwear.

When Should I Consult a Specialist for Ingrown Toenail Prevention Advice?

If you frequently experience ingrown toenails, then it would be a good time to consult a specialist in Singapore for personalised guidance.

Are There Specific Shoes That Can Help Prevent Ingrown Toenails?

We recommend you choose shoes with a wider toe box and a proper fit to reduce the risk of ingrown toenails. Avoiding shoes that squeeze the toes is essential to preventing ingrown toenails.


At Spire Orthopaedic, we understand the discomfort and inconvenience that ingrown toenails can cause. Our experienced specialists in Singapore are here to provide expert care, from removal procedures to prevention advice. Don’t let ingrown toenails hold you back—schedule an appointment with us today to find relief and improve your foot health.