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Aust Fam Physician. 2015 Mar;44(3):102-5.

Ingrown toenails: the role of the GP.

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BSc (Pod), MSc, PhD, Professor and Head, Podiatric Medicine Unit, School of Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA.



An ingrown toenail or onychocryptosis may occur at any age and is the mostly commonly encountered toenail problem likely to be seen in general practice.


This article will discuss the common surgical approaches available for the management of an ingrown toenail.


Ingrown toenail can be a painful condition that can become infected and may require surgical treatment. The epidemiology of onychocryptosis is difficult to determine as it is often considered to be a minor medical problem and as such has been some-what neglected in the literature. The few studies that have been conducted suggest a slightly higher male-to-female ratio, particularly in the 14-25 age group,4 but it can affect patients of any age. There are multiple reasons why an ingrown toenail will develop, including improper nail cutting technique, tight-fitting footwear, trauma, anatomical factors such as thickening of the nail plate, pincer-shaped toenail, pressure from abutting digits caused by hallux valgus or lesser toe deformities, the presence of a subungual exostosis and, occasionally, the use of isotretinoin in the treatment of severe acne.

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