Ingrown nails are quite common. They can be very painful and debilitating in your daily lives. I often see patients after having taken several courses of antibiotics. This often doesn’t work as the part of the nail that is causing the pain is still there. An ingrown nail can be treated first time around with a local anaesthetic and removal of the ingrown nail or nail spike. A dressing will be applied and you will need to keep your toe dry for one week. However if the problem has been on going and has become very painful, it may be best to treat the ingrown nail with liquefied phenol. This chemical stops the nail from regrowing down the side of the toe.
What are the causes of ingrown nails?
The shape of the nail
Tight or ill fitting foot wear
Poor nail cutting
What will happen during the procedure?
The ingrown nail will be removed painlessly with a local anaesthetic. It is best to have a pair of loosely fitting shoes or sandals for after the procedure. This is to allow the toe to start the healing process straight away.
Will there be a post operative infection?
Infection is unlikely providing you follow the wound-care advice given. Although rare,
infection may occur 1-2 weeks following the procedure. You will be seen at one and two weeks after having the full procedure – with phenol. You will still need to be seen at one week if you have a nail spike removed with local anesthetic.
Will the ingrowing nail grow back?
There may be a recurrence of the ingrown toenail
There may be unwanted re-growth of part or all of the
nail. This is rare and occurs less than 1% of cases.
The nail plate may be damaged – again very rare.
How will my nail look after the procedure?
The nail will be slightly narrower after the procedure. If you have had the procedure done with phenol, this will be permanent. Most patients are pleased with the final result.