Ingrown Toenails - Part 2

In our last post we discussed some of the common features of ingrown toenails and the possible reasons you may wind up with one. In part 2 we are going to move on to the management of ingrown toenails both for yourself at home and in terms of the treatment packages we offer.

So what should you be doing if you are unlucky enough to develop an ingrown toenail? Well, the first thing to do is reduce the risk of it getting worse and most importantly, avoid infection. Meticulous foot hygiene will go a long way to reduce the odds of this but as long as the offending piece of nail is in place, it is likely to keep causing problems. If a severe infection occurs it can occasionally require antibiotics, but again, that doesn’t solve the nail problem. It is best to see a podiatrist first for skilled removal of the offending nail, which on its own will often be enough to ease the pain without the need for antibiotics in the first place.

At our clinic we offer a full range of treatment options for ingrown toenails at each stage to suit the specific needs of the individual coming to see us. This can be as simple as safely removing the offending piece of nail and giving advice on how to prevent it in future. It could also be that semi-regular nail care (this is the camp I’ve fallen in so far!) is helpful to keep this problem at bay. 

In the all-to-common scenario where the condition is severe or that ongoing nail care has not been enough, we can offer a permanent solution through a safe and effective treatment called nail surgery. I have personally performed this procedure hundreds of times and love that I can offer patients a cure for their problem once and for all. Our friendly and knowledgeable team have worked hard so that we can state with confidence that the standards of our treatment are exceptionally high from start to finish.

The picture below was recently sent to me by a patient who I performed nail surgery on around four years ago and has kindly given me permission to share his success story. After years of persistent pain and a lack of resolution from self-care, we discussed the options available and agreed it would be best to perform bilateral partial nail avulsion (removal of both sides of the toenail) on both 1st toes. Healing was swift and without complications, four years on he is still pain free and you would have to look closely to even notice the procedure had even taken place. From my perspective, these kind of results are incredibly gratifying.

Four years post-procedure. Still good.

Four years post-procedure. Still good.

So what is involved? Our nail surgery care package begins with a thorough history taking to ensure you are fit and well enough to proceed; although this is a relatively minor surgery, there are health complications and medications that we need to take into account when making our decision to operate. The procedure itself involves the use of anaesthetic to ensure the toe is numb and the procedure can take place pain-free. 

Depending on the severity of the nail problem we may be able to perform either partial or total removal of the nail. In the case of partial removal, care is taken to remove as little nail as is going to be effective to fix the problem and once healed, it is often difficult to even notice the nail is gone. In either case, once numbed, the offending nail can be easily removed and a special solution called phenol can be applied to the nail matrix (the area where new nail grows). The application of phenol should ensure the nail in this section no longer grows and therefore does not return to cause further issues.

We then apply a sterile dressing, supply you with extras, and arrange follow-up appointments where we can monitor the healing process and assist you with any further queries you may have. Once the nail bed has healed you can look forward returning to normal activity, pain free, for good. 

Don’t suffer with ingrown toenails, get in touch to find out more or to book an appointment so we can help get you fixed. And of course, if you liked this article or know someone who might, please share it with them on social media and elsewhere!

~ Robert


Ingrown ToenailsMary Philip