The Low Down on Ingrown Toenails

The Low Down on Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails or otherwise known as onychocryptosis is a common condition that is predominantly seen in the big toe. And what exactly does it mean?

Ingrown toenails are formed from the compression of the nail edge growing into the skin of the toe. Subsequent to this, once the nail shoots through the skin it produces an inflammatory response, causing discomfort and the possibility for infection.

Quite commonly athletes are more predisposed to this condition however they can become apparent due to a simple toe injury, inappropriate footwear, ill-cutting or hereditary factors.

It is more than likely the ingrown toenails tend to reoccur when being left untreated, and it does have the tendency to flare up and become infected.

If you seem to be having recurrent ingrown toe nails, an avenue that you may want to explore is toenail surgery.

There are two types:

1. Total nail avulsion, where the entire nail plate and matrix (root) is removed.
2. Partial nail avulsion that involves a removal of a small strip of nail on either side of the toenail. This allows for us to preserve the remaining healthy nail and remove the part of which is problematic.

Both procedures involve anaesthetising the toe to allow for comfortable treatment during the minor surgery.

Once the area if numb a tourniquet is applied to prevent bleeding during the surgery.

The procedure generally takes up to 15 minutes in total, however we give around 40-50 minutes as this allows for forms to be filled out, the anaesthetic to wear in and to help get you comfortable and ready to go.

By Rebecca Follacchio
Podiatrist

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