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Treatments for ingrown nails

For newborns and young children no treatment is necessary for ingrown nails other than the application of an antibiotic cream like polysporin.

For adolescent patients and those older who suffer from ingrown nails, it is suggested to avoid cutting the nail edge or corners, perform antiseptic baths, apply antibiotic creams, wear wide shoes and regularly consult with a podiatrist for proper nail cutting

Surgery may be necessary for chronic cases.

Classic surgery: The toe is injected with local anesthetic at the base of the toe and the doctor cuts the skin and nail to the root level. Sutures are needed the close the wound. The procedure is painful, requires many days off of work, leaves a scar and has a high rate of reoccurrence.

Phenol and alcohol procedure: This is the procedure we prefer. The toe is injected with local anesthetic at the base of the toe and the podiatrist removes the painful portion of nail to the root level. Then phenol is applied to the root. This cauterizes the root and prevents the regrowth of the nail. The advantages of this procedure are that it is performed in the podiatrist office, there is little pain, a few days only are required for healing and there are no scars. These procedures have a high success rate with reoccurrence rate less than 10%.

Frequent questions concerning ingrown nails

It is possible to avoid surgery for ingrown nails?

  • Regular podiatric visits can postpone surgery for years.

At which point is the decision to operate taken?

  • An infection, the formation of a draining mass at the nail border (pyogenic granuloma), pain that will not pass after a podiatric treatment are all reasons to decide to operate on an ingrown nail.