Non-surgical Ingrown Toenail Treatments

Welcome to the Ingrown Toenail Clinic – the only clinic in Christchurch dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment, management and prevention of ingrown toenails. We are a team of passionate podiatrists who love helping people get back on their feet as soon as possible. Although big toe ingrown nail treatment is what we see most of in our practice, we can assist with ingrown toenail relief.

What is an ingrown toenail and how do you know if you have one?

Non-surgical Ingrown Toenail Clinic

Our podiatrists offer the most effective treatments for ingrown toenails, both surgical and non-surgical. On this page, we discuss non-surgical treatments, but you can also visit our surgical treatments page for more information.

Non-Surgical Treatment

If we can avoid surgery while still providing effective relief and results, we will. These treatments can be performed during a regular consultation at our clinic, and they are typically not very painful, though we can provide local anaesthetic if you would like.

Non-surgical treatments are ideal if the toenail is not too ingrown, if the pain is relatively minimal, and it is your first ingrown nail at that site.

For a one-off treatment for first-time ingrown nails, your podiatrist can remove the offending nail edge using specialist podiatry tools. Removing the sharp nail edge enables the skin to heal naturally, settles inflammation and relieves pressure and pain.

If a corn has formed under the nail, your podiatrist can usually remove the corn and release the pressure without surgery. Other times, we can provide medication to treat an ingrown toenail.

Non-surgical treatments will solve the immediate problem but there is a chance of reoccurrence. Surgical treatments are recommended for long-term prevention.


Onyfix Nail Treatment

We’re also proud to offer Onyfix, a nail correction system that restores your ingrown toenail to a natural, flatter shape - as opposed to one that curves painfully down into the nail. Onyfix uses an adjustable hardened composite (resin) that is set in a strip on top of a painful, pinched, curved or ingrown toenail. Think of it like a brace - except one that is fastened to the nail so you don’t need to remove or reapply it, or do anything else once it is set. As Onyfix doesn’t use any tension, every step of the process is completely painless. Onyfix: 

  • Is completed simply and seamlessly
  • Has no downtime
  • Is painless
  • Is suitable for people with diabetes, problems with healing, circulation and more
  • Is uniquely moulded to each person - it’s not one-size-fits-all
  • Works on the natural shape of the nail
  • Allows you to still shower and perform daily activities normally, including wearing nail polish, without restrictions.

Ingrown Toenail FAQs:

What causes an ingrown toenail?

There’s no single cause for ingrown toenails, though there are some common causes. The most common cause is improper nail cutting techniques. Make sure to cut your toenails in a straight, clean line following the curve of your nail and file down any sharp edges. Other common causes include pulling or picking at your nails, tight footwear, trauma to the toe, and genetic factors.

Can I treat my ingrown toenail at home?

Sometimes, minor ingrown toenails can be resolved by soaking the toe in warm water and elevating it. This will reduce the swelling and pain. However, if pain and inflammation persist, get your nail examined by a podiatrist as soon as possible.

When should I see a podiatrist?

If you’re at all concerned, see a podiatrist. If your pain worsens, if the nail becomes infected, or you have a fever, seek a podiatrist as soon as possible. Also, those with diabetes should see a podiatrist as soon as possible even if the ingrown nail doesn’t seem bad as diabetes effects the circulation and health of the feet.

Do I need ingrown toenail surgery?

This depends on how ingrown the toenail is, whether this is your first ingrown toenail at the site, and genetic factors. Your podiatrist will determine which course of action will be most effective at treating your ingrown toenail and preventing reoccurrence. 


The Ingrown Toenail is located within Merivale Podiatry, which can be found in the heart of Merivale, Christchurch. We’d love to help get rid of your ingrown toenail once and for all – book an appointment with us today.