What is an Ingrown toenail?
Ingrown toenails are also known as onychocryptosis. It is a common condition that can affect anyone, from newborns to 65+ years old individuals. It presents as pain on the corners of the nail, either both sides or only one.
What are the common symptoms?
With persistent pain, it can cause the skin of the offending border to be irritated - red and swollen. If left untreated, it can turn into a local abscess, causing an infection, and will need drainage and oral antibiotics.
What are my options?
Depending on the state of the ingrown toenail, your options include, but not limited to slant back, nail avulsion, or chemical matrixectomy.
Slant back - Digging out the corners with a large hand instrument. The toe will not be numbed.
Nail avulsion - The toe will be numbed. That’s the hardest part. After that, the patient should only feel the pressure being applied by the doctor during the procedure and no pain. The offending border is removed from the tip of the nail down to the cuticle. The remainder of the nail will still be intact, meaning the nail will grow back. You will have a mini dressing applied (hence the sandal or loose shoes). The area usually heals within two weeks, depending on the patient’s overall health. Tip: wear sandals or loose shoes when coming in for the procedure.
Chemical matrixectomy - Similar to nail avulsion except once the offending border is removed, phenol is used on the matrix to burn the root. This ensures that the offending corner will not grow back 99.9% of the time. The area usually heals within three weeks, depending on the patient’s overall health. Tip: wear sandals or loose shoes when coming in for the procedure.