​Ingrown Nails

Ingrown nails are very common. The side or corner of the toe nail grows into the soft flesh causing redness, pain and swelling in the skin. This disorder usually affects the big toe, and though rare, it can at times turn into an infection. Ingrown nails are commonly caused by wearing tight shoes that press the nails into the skin, toenail injury, having unusually curved or thickened nails, or cutting your nails too short or not straight across.

Symptoms of ingrown nails include:

  • Redness or swelling on the skin around the toe nail

  • Pain and tenderness on the toe

  • Infection around the toe nail​

Consult a doctor at the Teeth and Skin Service Lines at The Aga Khan University Hospital if you have severe pain or notice any pus or redness that seems to be spreading. Seek immediate medical help if you suffer from diabetes or any other condition that causes poor blood flow to your ​feet. ​
Your time with your doctor maybe limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started. ​
The diagnosis is pretty straight forward, and usually only involves your doctor examining your nail after you relate your symptoms to them. 

If home remedies are ineffective, your doctor may suggest a few other options to ease your discomfort. These options include:

  • Lifting the nail and placing a piece of cotton, splinter or dental floss to separate the nail from the skin. Your doctor will perform this procedure and ask you to change the material regularly at home. This procedure is done for slightly ingrown nail with no pus.

  • Partially removing the ingrown portion of the nail. Your doctor may numb your toe so that the procedure is as painless as possible. It is done for a more severe ingrown nail with pus.

  • Removal of the portion of the nail along with the underlying tissue if the problem occurs repeatedly on the same toenail. Your doctor may use chemicals, a laser or other methods to carry out this procedure.

  • System antibiotics if nail bed is painful and infected.

Apart from the procedure that will be carried out on your toe nail, your doctor may also suggest you to wear open-toe sandals.​

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.
The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.
The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments’ costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.
Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.