Ingrown Toenails or Onychocryptosis is a really painful condition that occurs when the side of your nail pierces through the skin surrounding the nail (sulcus). It starts to swell and often times becomes infected resulting in sharp, throbbing pain. Severe cases are painful to the slightest touch of a bed sheet while milder cases hurt inside shoes only. Dangerous self-treatment involves the patient using nail clippers, scissors, tweezers and the more adventurous ones using pins and pliers. Unsuccessful attempts are then followed up on by the pedicurists who may unknowingly make it worse by introducing an infection.
The good news is that it can be cured. A 35-minute procedure called a partial nail avulsion with matrix phenolisation can bring an end to it all. The procedure involves removing the damaged part of the root (matrix) so that it never grows back again. That results in a beautifully reshaped nail that is about 3mm narrower in width than before. Have a look at the video below to see the main part of a procedure. The procedure is clean and neat and performed under anesthesia. If you are a sensitive viewer then we suggest not watching it.
Alternatively, one could opt for the non-surgical (conservative) method of removing the ingrown portion every time that it grows back as shown below. On average this portion of the nail would have to be removed every month. Its considered to be conservative because no local anaesthetic is used. It takes less than one minute to remove the ingrown toenail this way.
Treatments such as over-the-counter ointments to apply or nail softeners do not work. Antibiotics will treat the secondary infection but will not address the ingrown toenail.
If ingrown toenails have become a problem for you, visit us for an evaluation and a discussion on what treatment option is best for you.