Ingrown toenails can be (pardon the pun) a painful subject. They can cause inflammation and infection and, often, they keep coming back. What can be done about it?

Ingrown toenails usually involve the nail digging into the adjacent skin to the point of rupture. If this happens, the skin will ring alarm bells by starting the inflammatory process (and you'll end up with a red, hot, swollen, painful toe). Inflammation may turn into infection, if not addressed appropriately.

Usually ingrown toenails are a caused by the nail being cut too short, or ill-fitting shoes that put too much pressure on the toes.

What can be done about it?

- Soak your feet in salt baths every day, to reduce the risk of infection. Dry carefully.

- Do not attempt to cut the nail yourself but come to see us, we will be able to assess your toe, remove the speckle of nail causing the problem and, if necessary, apply some local anaeshetic. We will also discuss with you possible options to help you get rid of the problem quickly.

Contact your GP immediately or go to the nearest A&E if any of the following happens:

-The pain is unbearable.

- You develop a rash around the affected toe or on the foot.

-You develop a fever or general malaise.

- The toe swells disproportionately.

- The foot swells up.