Let’s talk about… Ingrown Toenails & Nail Bracing

Before we start, let’s look at

What exactly is an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail is one that pierces the flesh of the toe. It may be extremely painful and inflamed or infected. Sometimes the nail can curl into the flesh without piercing the skin. This is known as a convoluted or involuted nail. It can also be very painful and appear red and inflamed. Big toenails are most commonly affected by both conditions, however other toenails may also become ingrown. You should see a podiatrist if you experience persistent pain or see symptoms of infection. If you have diabetes, poor immune system or are taking steroids or blood thinners, don’t attempt to cut your nails or remove the ingrowing spike of the nail by yourself.


Nail braces – New Treatment?

History of the Nail Braces

Nail braces were invented in 1872 in Ohio by E. E. Stedman, but it wasn’t until 1960s that their use became popular in Europe and Australia. The modern bracing devices have been developed and perfected by the Institute for Orthonyxia in Erlangen, Germany. Orthonyxia is another word for nail bracing:- ‘orthos’ meaning correct, ‘onyx’ meaning nail.

Can Anyone Have a Nail Brace Applied?

Yes. Nail bracing is a safe and effective way of treating ingrown toenails. It is suitable even in children, patients with diabetes or those who present with a local infection. Taking time off sport is not necessary when you have the brace applied, hence it is an ideal solution for athletes who cannot take the time off to recover after a nail surgery.

It sounds perfect but…

How Does it Actually Work?

The braces used in South Dublin Podiatry are made of steel wire which is applied over the surface of your nail. The wire is hooked under the nail edges to provide a constant, gentle bending force on the nail promoting the natural growth. The braces are modified on monthly basis based on the presence of symptoms and are removed when all the symptoms have vanished.


Research shows that nail bracing is an alternative treatment of ingrown toenails with high patient satisfaction, fast recovery times, and a low recurrence rate (Guler, et al., 2015).

If you suffer from ingrown toenails, don’t wait any longer. Call our Podiatrist on 083 8241454 to discuss your treatment options today.

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O. Guler et al., ‘Nail Braces as an Alternative Treatment for Ingrown Toenails: Results From a Comparison With the Winograd Technique’, The Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery, vol. 54, no. 4, 2015, http://www.sciencedirect.com, (Accessed 5 July 2018).


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