Ingrown Toenail Treatment – Adelaide, SA

What is an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail occurs when a toenail, usually a nail in a big toe, penetrates the nail bed. This can happen because the nail itself grew downward or sideways until it penetrated the skin.

It could also occur due to inflammation and the immune response when the nail bed becomes irritated. If the nail bed swells or develops a collection of white blood cells called a granuloma, the nail bed or the granuloma could push against the nail, causing the classic symptoms of an ingrown toenail.

Ingrown Toenail Treatment in Adelaide

Nearly one in five people have ingrown toenails, and it is a common reason for people to visit their primary physician and ask for a referral. You might have endured the pain of ingrown toenails or avoided going to the doctor because of embarrassment.

Dr. Hawra Alzamely, BPod, is an experienced podiatrist that provides treatment of foot and ankle problems, including ingrown toenails.

Our podiatrist approaches ingrown toenails with a two-step patient care plan. First, she seeks to understand the cause of the ingrown toenail and the extent of the infection. Then, she works to treat and stop further development of the problem.

Studies show that the pain of ingrown toenails can lead to a severe decrease in the quality of life. If you see a podiatrist for toe pain, particularly if you have an underlying condition like diabetes, you should learn how to prevent and treat ingrown toenails.

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Ingrown Toenail Treatment FAQ

Frequently asked questions and answers about all things ingrown toenails.

Symptoms of an ingrown toenail include swelling, redness, and pain in the skin adjacent to the toenail. Penetration of the nail bed can cause bleeding at the site and clotted blood on the toenail. Infection of the skin around the toenail leads to other symptoms.

Tight-fitting shoes can lead to ingrown toenails by denying the toenails the space to grow outward, pushing the nail against the sides of the nail or the nail bed.

Cutting the toenails too short can leave the nail’s edge too far back against the nail bed. If the nail bed swells, it could cut off the nail’s path to forward growth, leading it to dig into the nail bed instead.

Less commonly, if you stub your toe or injure it in some other way, the force of the injury could drive the nail into the nail bed. Even if an injury does not directly damage the nail, swelling after the injury could put pressure on the nail bed and the nail, making the toe prone to an ingrown toenail.

A break in the skin caused by an ingrown toenail could develop into a more severe infection if the immune system is compromised and unable to fight off infection at the site. This situation is particularly dangerous if your circulatory system is damaged or you have a compromised immune system.

Signs of infection include severe redness around the ingrown toenail, increased pain, fever, and the release of pus from the toenail. If a fungus has infected the toe, the nail could become yellow and thick.

If you notice signs of infection, seek treatment right away. Untreated infections could spread to deeper parts of the toe or foot, such as the bone. Infection of the bone, called osteomyelitis, causes swelling, high fever, and pain.

If the bone is damaged, the patient could lose mobility and functionality of the toe permanently. The sooner you can get antibiotics and other treatments, the better your chances are of avoiding the development of serious complications such as infection.

A registered podiatrist, Dr. Hawra Alzamely, BPod, is known for her foot and ankle treatment skill and experience. Over the years, she’s mastered the nuances of treating ingrown toenails so that she consistently produces excellent results. Her patients appreciate her kind manner, attention to detail, and rave about their care.

Our podiatrist works hard to make sure that patients are comfortable in the office and are fully confident in their choices. She is a member of the Australian Podiatry Association, and Sports + Exercise Podiatry Australia.

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Many treatments exist for ingrown toenails. Some treatments are similar to treatments for other inflammatory disorders. Resting the toe and refraining from walking on it when possible could give the swelling a chance to go down. Ice and elevation reduce swelling by limiting blood flow to the area. Unlike other inflammatory conditions, putting pressure on the site is not recommended because pushing the nail against the nail bed or the sides of the nail would worsen the underlying injury.

You may take anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce pain and swelling. These medicines have side effects such as irritation of the stomach lining. Avoid using NSAIDs for an extended time; prolonged use can reduce their effectiveness and increase the likelihood of side effects.

Soak your foot a few times a day in Epsom salts to reduce pain and help the nail work free from the nail bed. Experts recommend not rinsing your toe when the soak is over; however, thoroughly dry the toenail afterward to promote healing.

If the condition persists, a podiatrist could try physical measures to release the nail. More conservatively, the doctor could try lifting the nail off the nail bed and keeping it raised with a splint. Onyfix treatment is a pain-free treatment to correct the involution of a toenail, a proximal strip that needs to be applied every 3 months for a total of 12 months.

In cases where severe ingrowth and swelling occur, the podiatrist might remove part of the nail or a portion of the infected skin.

The Onyfix nail correction system is an innovative product that enables completely painless treatment of almost all forms of involuted and ingrown toenails.

The principle of the Onyfix nail correction system is to bring an involuted or ingrown nail back into a natural shape through normal growth without any tension or pain. Usually, a strip is applied once every 3 months for a total of 12 months.

Dr. Alzamely adapts the Onyfix depending on your individual circumstances. The Onyfix system is adhered to your nail and helps bring back the natural shape of your toenail as it grows. The whole process is pain-free, during application and throughout the entire treatment.

Benefits of Onyfix:

  • Pain-free treatment
  • Rapid pain alleviation
  • Corrects the nail through physiological nail growth
  • Effective without exerting force on the nail
  • Combinable and individually adaptable system
  • Effectiveness confirmed by a study
  • Particularly suitable for those with diabetes
  • No restrictions on patient activities (incl. swimming/sauna)
  • Nail polish can still be used

If an ingrown toenail is merely causing moderate pain, you might manage it by soaking the toe and wearing loose-fitting shoes. However, suppose the pain becomes severe enough to affect your quality of life.

Then, if you spot signs of infection, or if you have a pre-existing condition that makes you vulnerable to infection, you should seek medical advice. See your general practitioner and ask about a referral to a podiatrist for treatment.

The best way to prevent ingrown toenails is:

  • to give nails room to grow properly
  • Wear proper footwear with ample toe space.
  • Avoid cutting your toenails back so far that they dig into the nail bed.
  • Cut your nails in a flat-edged, not rounded, shape so that the nails don’t dig into the sides of the toe.

It is easy to overlook proper foot care. You get caught up in the tasks of everyday life. However, your podiatrist can help by reminding you of simple actions and habits that could make the difference between healthy feet and crippling foot pain.

Podiatrists and general practitioners have an impactful role to play in getting the word out to the public. Communities need podiatrists with large and thriving practices who can see many patients and spread awareness of good walking habits and exercise regimens.

Many people stop exercising, adopt bad postures, and fall into sedentary lifestyles because of foot pain. If you have given up activities you enjoy because of foot pain, think of how a visit to your podiatrist could change your life.

Dr. Alzamely Will Help Get You Back On Your Feet

By seeking treatment, our patients are able to return to their daily activities, pursuits, and life better than ever and free from foot and ankle pain.

Her combination of clinical skills and caring demeanor with her patients makes Dr. Hawra Alzamely, BPod, one of the most sought-after podiatrists in Adelaide.

If you’re ready to stop living with pain and live your best life, schedule a consultation today.


Podiatrist Hawra Alzamely provides a wide range of treatment options. If you’re ready to address your foot and ankle concerns, book an appointment online today.