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Ingrowing Toenail E11

Podiatry & Chiropody


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Ingrown Toenail Treatment E11

An ingrown toenail occurs when a section of the nail penetrates the skin. It usually occurs in the 1st toe, but the smaller toes can also be affected. Typically the toe becomes swollen and inflamed around the nail. It may vary in severity from slight discomfort to acute pain, often discharging fluid.

Ingrown toenail treatment E11

Treatment of ingrown toenails

Regular conservative treatment by a Podiatrist can often be needed to prevent the ingrown nail becoming a problem. Reshaping the nail and correct nail cutting can encourage it to grow in a straight fashion away from the sides.

It may be possible to remove the spike of an ingrown nail painlessly without the use of a local anaesthetic, partcularly if it is only growing in at the tip of the toe. However if the nail is ingrown towards the base of the nail, a local anaesthetic is normally advised so that treatment can be performed with the minimum of distress for the patient. Antibiotics are often necessary if the surrounding tissue is infected. However, the cause of the infection (the ingrown nail) is still there, and this will still need to be removed.

Surgical treatment of the ingrown toe nail

If the ingrown nail is severe or does not respond to conservative care, then minor surgical intervention is a good option. Minor surgery is a relatively simple procedure and is very successful for permanent relief.

The most common procedure is the removal of a section of nail of the ingrown nail (Partial Nail Avulsion). The main benefit of this procedure is that it not only leaves the nail pain free but also in a cosmetically acceptable state as most of the nail remains intact. Occasionally the nail is so ingrown from both sides or is grossly thickened. In these cases, it may be necessary to remove the entire nail (Total Nail Avulsion). To prevent regrowth, usually an acid is used to destroy the growing cells and stop this painful condition happening again.

After the surgery you will need to keep your foot elevated for a few hours and rest is advisable. The following day, you can return to work or school. It is advisable not to take part in vigorous activities, such as running for 2 weeks after the surgery.
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