Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails may be caused by improper nail trimming, inherited nail deformities, injuries, fungal infections, or pressure from poorly fitted shoes.Toenails can curl as they grow this over-curvature is called involution. Involution is not a true ingrown nail, however they can be very painful, especially if hard or dry skin builds up down the side of the toenail.

If a toenail penetrates the skin this ingrown nail is called onychocryptosis a true ingrowing toenail.

This is usually extremely painful and may cause localized swelling and redness in the area next to the nail sometimes accompanied by a discharge or pus.

Ingrown toenails can be effectively treated by your foot specialist/chiropodist by several methods:

Trimming

Often times patients just assume they need a surgical procedure when all they need is regular trimming of ingrowing toenails with gentle buffing of the incurvated corners. We will evaluate your needs and try to avoid surgery if at all possible.

Slantback procedure (aka Wedge Resection)

A wedge of the offending nail edge is cut back typically without using local anesthetic. This may be helpful if the ingrown portion of the nail is at the tip of the toe. This will not work if the ingrowing border is near the root of the nail. Local anesthetic is typically not employed although we may use a topical cold spray for comfort. Usually only offers temporary relief and regrowth is common because it does not change the curved shaped of the toenail.

Permanent Partial Nail Avulsion

This is the most common procedure done if we cannot simply just trim away the ingrowing part of the nail. The toe is numbed up with a fine needle using local anesthetic. The area is made sterile for this minor operative procedure. A tourniquet is used at the base of the toe to temporarily stop blood flow. About a 3 mm sliver of the offending nail including that at the root is removed. A chemical (phenol or sodium hydroxide) is applied to the nail root to kill the cells that are producing that portion of the ingrowing nail, then neutralized. In the vast majority of cases that portion of the nail does not grow back and permanent relief from the ingrown toenail is usually achieved.

Total Nail Avulsion (Temporary or Permanent)

If both nail borders are involved or if the nail is very small, the entire nail can be removed. This procedure can be done temporarily or permanently.



Available Treatments

Ingrown Toenail Treatment

Ingrown toenails are one of the more common foot problems treated by a chiropodist or podiatrist. They can be very painful and can often limit your activit



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