Many people suffer from ingrowing toenails at some point in their lifetime. Ingrowing toenails are most common on your big toe nails but actually can occur on the smaller toes too. Typically they are extremely painful, very inflammed and swollen, and puss can be present. If this is the case it is essential that you see the Podiatrist urgently.
Ingrowing toe nails can be caused by a number of things including:
- Ill fitting footwear
- Hereditary Problem
- Trauma due to Injury
- Bad nail cutting technique over time
An ingrowing toe nail is caused when the nail cuts into to the skin at the side of the nail known as the sulci. This is then aggravated when the nail continues to grow into the sulci causing a wound that cannot heal. Without the wound healing it is a portal for infection, this infection continues to get worse until the nail is dealt with and the wound can heal.
Podiatrists can treat Ingrowing Toenails in a number of ways by either conservatively managing the problem by removing any ‘spikes’ and with routine nail care management including packing underneath the nail, to alleviate the pressure on the sulci.
The more long term and often more successful treatment is Toenail Surgery. This involves removing part of, or the entire nail. A partial nail avulsion (PNA) involves removing a small slither of nail on the side that is the problem. A total nail avulsion (TNA) is removal od the whole nail. This tends to be a rarer procedure and is only carried out when either both sides of the nail are particularly bad or the nail is already deformed in some way.
Nail surgery involves a local Anasthetic into the toe that numbs it completely. Then the slither of the nail is removed or the whole nail, depending on what was agreed by the patient and podiatrist. An acid called phenol is then applied and neutralised, in most cases this prevents that part of the nail ever growing back. It is then dressed and managed by the podiatrist and patient over the next few weeks. The surgery usually only takes up to an hour in total and is a minor operation that can be done in clinic.
We regularly carry out this procedure at Walk Right Podiatry and our patients report a pain free experience and instant relief. If you are having problems with ingrowing toe nails or any other issues with your feet call WalkRight Podiatry on 01706 655110 or visit www.walk-right.co.uk to arrange an appointment.
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