My name's Emma Supple.
I'm a podiatrist and podiatric surgeon at Enfield and in the NHS.
That's the mark. It does look very sore.
Ingrown toenails are a painful, nasty condition
and they're essentially where the nail pierces the flesh.
So it's like a thorn and it hurts.
The old wives' tale of cutting a V in your big toenail
to prevent ingrown toenails
is not something that we would recommend.
It's a problem to the sides of the toenails,
it's nothing to do with the central,
and there is no evidence to suggest that centrally cutting a V
and perhaps introducing an infection centrally
is going to help what's happening to the sides of the nail plate.
So if you find you're getting an ingrown toenail, seek professional help.
There are two types of ingrown toenails.
The first is what we refer to as bathroom chiropody,
so in other words you've had a go at it yourself
and you've dug too far down the side of the nail
when giving yourself a pedicure and a nail-cut.
If you do that and if you break the all-important seal
between the nail plate and the nail side,
you'll introduce an infection and could give yourself an ingrown toenail.
If you have a position of a toenail that is just too broad for your feet,
so you can have a fan-shaped nail, we call it,
so the side, literally through no fault of your own,
pressed into the sides of your nail fold,
that can cause an ingrown toenail.
That's an inherited condition.
If you've got this fan-shaped nail, look at your mum and dad's,
and that may be why you've inherited this.
If you start having an ingrown toenail,
the best thing to do in the early stages is use a bit of olive oil
and just gently move the flesh away from the side of the nail plate.
If it's starting to become ingrowing, you've got a chance of stopping it.
Little bit of antiseptic lotion so that none of the infection gets in,
and stop digging.
If you feel that you need to dig
and it's painful if you don't do any treatment,
then go and see a podiatrist to get some active treatment.
We give you an injection, make your toe nice and numb,
and we do corrective nail surgery,
which is where we take the nail, remove the side of the nail
and leave you with a nice straight portion of nail
that stops the nail from becoming an ingrown toenail permanently.
- You all right, Claire? - Yes.
If you have an ingrown toenail
that's thickening as much as pressing into the side,
then you might need to have a total nail avulsion.
That leaves you with no nail at all.
It's not something you would choose to do, but if you don't need a toenail
and the toenail you've got is giving you more trouble than not having a nail,
then once it's healed up you've just got the indentation where the nail was
and it works perfectly fine.
Just put a dressing on it.
Post-surgery your toe will be numb for another few hours,
so it's important to go home, put your foot up and have a rest.
Take a paracetamol-based painkiller if you need one.
Most of the time people need to take one or two.
We don't often expect a lot of postoperative pain.
You have a big fat dressing on the toe straight after the surgery
and that's because it can be bleeding quite a lot,
so it's important to have a nice fat dressing.
After the dressing comes off, two days after surgery,
then you just start doing saline foot baths,
so salt-water foot baths.
Ingrown toenail can affect one side of the nail,
it can affect the whole nail
or it can affect both sides of both big toenails.
Sometimes it affects the lesser toenails,
number two or number three toenail, but not very often.
So in the main this is a big toenail problem
and you might need to have both sides of both toenails trimmed,
but at the end of the surgery you'll have nice straight toenails,
a nice nail plate on great feet, of course,
and you won't have any more pain.