Ingrown Toenails

At the Sussex Foot Centre, we treat ingrown toenails on a daily basis. An ingrown nail is a nail that curves into the skin. The medical term is onychocryptosis. It may or may not be painful, and may or may not cause infection. An ingrown nail that causes infection or inflammation is called paronychia. Ingrown toenails that cause inflammation or infection are usually very painful.



  • Trauma or any damage to the nail or the nail bed can result in ingrown nails.
  • Microtrauma: Repetitive pressure from shoes. Runners, tennis, rugby and football players commonly have ingrown toenails.
  • Blunt trauma: dropping something on your toe or kicking a chair.
  • Shoes: Especially narrow shoes which are too small, place pressure on the big toenail, resulting in repetitive microtrauma.
  • Fungal Nails: causes changes in shape of the nail and the nail bed, sometimes resulting in ingrown toenails.
  • Genetics: some people are born with nails which naturally turn in at the sides and typically develop ingrown nails very early in life.


Conservative Care vs. Nail Surgery

Conservative approaches to therapy are appropriate for the initial management of ingrown toenails. This includes chiropody to try and take the pressure off the side of the skin by cutting down the side of the nail in a controlled way by your Podiatrist. When conservative therapy fails for the initial management of ingrown toenails, surgical treatment may be appropriate.

Nail Surgery (Please see the right-hand side of the page for our video of a recent surgery).

When is Ingrowing Toenail Treatment Necessary?

  • Failure of conservative care to resolve the condition
  • Recurring ingrowing nails
  • Painful involuted nails  (i.e. chronic curled-in nails).
  • Infected in-growing nails
  • Deformed nail shape
  • Thickened fungal nails which can cause pressure on the toe

What do we do on the day of the procedure?

  1. The procedure entails local anaesthetic being put either side of the big toe to make the toe go numb, so you won’t be able to feel a thing
  2. The toe is then washed and an antiseptic is applied all over the area to minimise the risk of infection
  3. The procedure differs slightly depending on the nail pathology, however, it usually involves removing part of, or all of the nail
  4. Once the offending nail is removed, a chemical called phenol is applied; this is what stops the nail from growing back and causing problems again
  5. The nail is then dressed with a bulky dressing to prevent any further trauma and to minimise the risk of infection
  6. We get you back the following day to redress the area

Toenail Removal Aftercare
We see you between 3-5 times after this to redress and check progress; you will be issued with all your dressings for this period and instructed on how to redress them yourself. Usually, healing time is 3-6 weeks but some nails can take longer

Key Points


  • No skin is cut at all.
  • There will be NO regrowth of the nail.
  • Patients can go back to work the next day or even on the same day, depending on occupation
Ingrown toenail

How Can We Help?

Follow the form below to get through directly to one of our Podiatrists at the practice or to request an appointment.

Or call — 01444 453874

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34 Sussex Road, Haywards Heath, Sussex RH16 4EA

We are trusted by our clients

Amy's been extremely helpful, informative and lovely to talk to during my foot appointment the last few visits. 100% recommend their services.
Darryl Rebbetts
Darryl Rebbetts
Have had scan and chiropodist treatments and both were carried out with care and I was informed what would be done. I would highly recommend the Sussex foot centre for treatments.
Sheila Stobbs
Sheila Stobbs
I was misdiagnosed by my GP after injuring myself long distance walking. Now I not only know what's wrong with me, but also how to remedy it so I can walk again. Great attention to detail. Thank you 😊
Liz Platt
Liz Platt
Fantastic experience with the whole practice, there’s no where I’d trust more. Originally I went to have one issue sorted out, and have found another to be dealt with alongside. A practice where you feel listened to and taken seriously. Thanks again!
Nikki Martin
Nikki Martin
Had an appointment with Jon Collins about a sore heel. Had a scan on both heels, which was followed by a detailed analysis of the results and an explanation (in layman's terms) what the issue was. Very impressed with his knowledge, how it was imparted and happy with our agreed action plan.
Jonathan Whitnall
Jonathan Whitnall
Over the last 4 years or so, I have visited a number of professionals including physiotherapists, chiropractors and osteopaths. I was experiencing recurring injuries in my left knee and hip from sports and from attempting to walk mid-distances. The pain was starting to flare in my back too. I was following the physiotherapists’ advice religiously and attending appointments regularly. However, the programme of exercises tended to make the pain worse rather than better. To add to my frustration, I was also misdiagnosed with a hip condition. In the back of my mind, I always felt there was something biomechanically incorrect in the way I move but I was reassured that was not the case until…..I booked an appointment with Jon at Sussex Foot Centre for a gait assessment. Jon quickly recognised the issue with my feet and their incorrect positioning. I was prescribed custom orthotics and after a few months of perfecting these, Jon then created my semi-permanent pair of orthotics. I have been walking further than I have done and am now back on the courts playing tennis, which I love, and never thought I would be able to do again. The whole team at Sussex Foot Centre are very helpful and efficient. My treatment is ongoing so as long as Jon is a podiatrist, I am his patient :) Thank you for everything!
Katherine Morley
Katherine Morley
I had nail surgery last October and after all this time I can say it was worth it. Jon didn’t rush me into it and gave me all options available, in the end I decided to go for the surgery and Jon made it so easy and everything was explained to me before, during and afterwards. Any questions I had were always answered by Jon or one of his team and put my mind at rest (I’m a bit of a worrier). Can’t thank them enough for helping with something that I had tried to ignore for years.
Gavin Robertson
Gavin Robertson
I highly recommend Sussex foot centre. I booked an appointment for the shoe insoles and Jon was very helpful and professional. He provided a great solution for me and I feel much better since I wear my new insoles. The entire team is also very nice and helpful with booking the appointments around my work schedule.
Michał Piotrowski
Michał Piotrowski
After the NHS screwed up my ingrown toenail operation twice this year I decided to go private and it was the best decision. I was seen really quickly and toes healed within a couple of weeks, highly recommend sussex foot centre.
Lauryn Spink
Lauryn Spink