This is a condition when a spike or part of a nail pierces the skin. In-growing nails are often caused by poor nail cutting or ill-fitting footwear. Over time, as the nail grows out it can penetrate deeper into the tissues which can cause inflammation and become infected. Infected in-growing nails can be very painful and usually start to become red and swollen and may bleed with the production of pus.
In terms of treatment, the first method is to try to remove the nail spike which can be done with or without local anaesthetic. This usually takes between 30-45 minutes.
If this is unsuccessful then in-growing nail surgery is recommended where the side of the nail is removed (called a partial nail avulsion) and a chemical called phenol is applied to prevent regrowth of the nail in that area. Sometimes it is recommended to remove the entire nail (called a full nail avulsion) but I can discuss the best options available to you.
- The treatment for in-growing toe nail surgery usually lasts one hour.
- Normally you can return to work the next day but you will still have dressings on your toes so you may have to wear different footwear to usual to accommodate the dressings.
- Please bear in mind that the use of local anaesthetic may invalidate your car insurance so it may be helpful for someone else to take you home that day.
The following day you will require a re-dressing at the clinic and then reviews/re-dressings will be once a week for the first month. After that, reviews once a month take place until the toes are fully healed.