Fix Ingrown Toenails Permanently

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails is a condition where the nail grows into the skin on the side of the toe, breaking the skin, leading to infection and pain.

If you’ve ever had an ingrown toenail you know the amount of pain they can cause. This is due to the concentration of nerve endings at the end of each toe.

There is a more sinister side to ingrown toenails: infections can become serious and, in worst cases, lead to dangerous sepsis.

Thankfully, we can offer you a permanent solution for ingrown toenails, partial nail avulsion. 

This is a minimally invasive procedure which fixes the problem permanently, by removing the root cause.

In healthy people, the recovery is fast, and the result is a pain-free and infection-free toenail, so you can get on with life!

In this procedure, part of the nail is removed, and chemically cauterised, so that it no longer grows into the skin. (95% success rate).

Your podiatrist will discuss your options with you to help you decide what is best for your situation.

Ingrown toenail surgery - When Should you Consider It?

Ingrown Toenail Surgery could be the perfect option for you if you have:

  • an ingrown toenail that has been bothering you for more than a few weeks, or on and off over a period of time,
  • to constantly get your “curly” toenails treated to prevent them from becoming ingrown,
  • complex, chronic conditions such as diabetes, and ingrown toenails,  then it could be very wise to consider toenail surgery as recurrent infections can be very detrimental to your overall health.

Your risks are considerably higher if you have other conditions including Diabetes and Peripheral Vascular Disease.

Here's The Good News!

At Dynamic Podiatry we perform a Partial Nail Avulsion (PNA) with Phenol Matrixectomy.

First, we numb your toe with a local anaesthetic so that the edge of the affected toenail can be removed.

An ingrown toenail which is infected the skin is red and swollen and there is some pus

We then cut the nail in a straight line from the end to the base, and removing the problematic piece, including the nail root (matrix).  

After we’ve removed the piece of nail, we apply phenol (a weak acid) to the area which held the nail root. This prevents it from re-growing in this corner (95% success rate).

The procedure usually takes 20-30 minutes, depending on if one or two sides of the toenail are being removed.

The great thing is that after you have had this procedure done and it heals, you are unlikely to ever have an ingrown nail on that toe again.

After Ingrown Toenail Surgery

Good after-care is essential following toenail surgery to ensure you get the best result.

To avoid infections getting in, the surgical dressing must be kept very clean and totally dry for the first three days. 

You need to take it easy over this period and don’t spend too much time on your feet.

After the first review at three days, you will be shown how to clean your toe and how to dress it daily.

You usually only need to keep dressing it for another seven days after your first review.

Your podiatrist will review again in one week, and if everything looks good you will be discharged and free to get on with life.

A pair of feet with tingling toes

Recovery Time

We recommend minimal weight-bearing for 2-3 days.

Office jobs can usually be resumed after 2 days, however weight-bearing and physically demanding jobs will require a few more days of rest or light duties.

What About The Risks?

Although it is a very safe procedure in suitable patients, there are risks with any type of surgery.

Often the risks of NOT getting the surgery can outweigh the risks of getting it done. This is usually when you have had recurrent infections and conservative treatment is not working.

The most common risks with toenail surgery are infection, pain, and recurrence.

Infection: as long as you follow the after-care instructions carefully, there is only a small risk of infection.

Treating any infection early is key, so make sure you tell us if you notice any increase in pain, redness, swelling, or odour.

Pain: surprisingly there is minimal pain involved! Of course, nobody enjoys getting a needle, but once that’s done your toe will feel nothing.

When people come in for their three day review, they tend to report little or no pain. 

Recurrence: the recurrence rate is less than 5%. One study published in the The National Library of Medicine reported a recurrence rate of less than 1%.

You can read that report here:


Is Ingrown Toenail Surgery Right For You?

Not everyone will want to get surgery done, and for some people we will not advise it.

Chronic and complex medical conditions can make it more risky, and in those cases we will help you out with a more conservative approach. 

Remember that even if you are not a candidate for surgery, there is always something we can do to help you live pain free.

To find out more about how a podiatrist can help, and to learn how to prevent ingrown toenails, click here.

Call 3351 8878 to book an appointment or book online.


This advice is general in nature only and does not replace advice from a podiatrist or doctor.

Speak to your podiatrist about the best treatment plan for your ingrown toenail

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