The 3 Best Ways to Treat a Painful Ingrown Toenail

Ingrown toenail describes a condition where an awkwardly shaped nail and its associated callus buildup cause an individual pain and possibly infection, most commonly in the big toe.

Ingrown nails aka “Onychocryptosis” occurs when a nail spike grown from the nail plate pierces (“digs in”) the skin of the toe. Due to the many nerve branches and the sensitivity of the toes, this nail spike can cause great pain, inflammation and infection.


  • Incorrect cutting of toenails
  • Constrictive footwear
  • Nail Trauma (e.g. nail damage from sports or ‘kicking toe’)
  • Dead skin/debris
  • Flat feet
  • Genetics
  • Poor hygiene
  • Excessive sweating of the feet


  • Moderate to Severe pain in corner or side of skin fold of the toe
  • Pain when bed sheets/blanket touches toe while sleeping
  • Redness, swelling
  • Tender to touch
  • Hard skin around nail
  • Area is bleeding
  • Area oozes pus which can have a strong odour


It is strongly advised that you do not attempt to self-treat or engage in different home remedies such as cutting a notch in the central nail plate or wedging cotton wool in the painful area. The risks of aggravating the pain and ultimately irritating an existing infection are very high if home treatment is conducted. If you suffer from certain high risk medical conditions such as Diabetes, poor blood circulation or nerve damage, it is crucial that you contact your local Podiatrist and perhaps see your GP to receive antibiotics to aid the healing process.

At The Triumph Institute’s Podiatry clinic, we are proud to offer the following treatment strategies:

  • “Cheating method”
  • Nail bracing
    • Much like the uses of dental braces to correct misaligned teeth.
  • Nail surgery
    • Either called “Partial Nail Avulsion (PNA)” or “Total Nail Avulsion” (TNA)
    • A PNA involves the removal of the nail spike and its root only while the patient is under local anesthetic and then a special acid is applied to eradicate the nail. We are assure you that no stitches are required and recovery is quick
    • TNA involves the whole toenail removed.
Grant Duong, Podiatry

At the Triumph Institute located in the heart of Bankstown, Sydney we also practice podiatry. It’s a medical field that specialises in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of problems and issues that affect the lower limbs, from the lower back right down to our feet.

Learn more about Triumph Podiatry →