One of the most common problems we see here in the clinic is Onychocryptosis, or put simply, Ingrown Toenails.
They can be painful and unsightly, and most people associate the treatment of ingrown nails with a lot of pain. But this doesn’t need to be the case!
The majority of ingrown toenails can be managed conservatively and pain and discomfort can be kept at a minimum. Most people are quite surprised by how easy it is. Generally, a small section of nail is cut away from the offending side of the nail to reduce the pressure of the nail against the skin. Following that a small amount of hard skin, called onychophosis, is removed from the sulcus (the grove in the skin that the edge of the nail grows through). The result is that the pain and pressure is taken away instantly and the patient walks out happy!
In some cases, the nail continues to in-grow due to a deformity in the nail shape (this could be due to previous trauma/infection or genetic influences). In those cases, the Podiatrist will often advise Partial Nail Avulsion surgery, where a larger piece of nail is removed under Local Anaesthetic and the nail root is cauterised. The end result is a “skinnier” nail that won’t continue to in-grow into the skin. In rare cases, the whole nail may need to be removed.
The Podiatrist generally does this surgery in the clinic with a full recovery expected within 2 weeks for most people.