Ingrown Toenail Treatment, Removal & Surgery

Effective Ingrown Toenail Treatment, Removal & Surgery in Surrey & West Sussex

Partial/Total Nail Avulsion with Phenolisation of Nail Matrix

Nail surgery is the treatment of choice for recurrent ingrown toenails or toenails that are too painful to treat without the use of local analgesia.

The procedure itself involves injecting the toe with local anaesthetic to produce a numb toe. A section of nail is then removed from the affected side and a chemical called phenol is rubbed into the resultant gap, this kills off that part of the nail bed thus preventing the portion of nail from regrowing.

A dressing is then applied which is kept in place until your follow up appointment in 2-3 days’ time. After this time you will have to dress the toe yourself with melolin and surgical tape.  The patient is issued with a dressing pack containing everything they need to redress the toe at home. The dressing pack will last about 14 days.  Further dressing kits are available to purchase from Centre4Feet or at your local chemist. Healing time can take between 6-8 weeks however it is often quicker than this. The patient will also be seen on a regular basis (usually up to 4 times) until the wound has healed. The success rate for this procedure is approximately 95% with possible complications including regrowth of the nail, infection in the wound and delayed healing.

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What Is An Ingrown Toenail?

An ingrown toenail develops when the sides of the toenail grow into the surrounding skin.

The nail curls and pierces the skin, which becomes red, swollen and tender. The toe can also feel painful when pressure is placed on it. The big toe is most likely to be affected, either on one or on both sides. The medical name for an ingrown toenail is onychocryptosis.

Treating Ingrown Toenails

There are several things you can do yourself to treat mild ingrown toenails and prevent them from getting worse, including:

  • practise good foot hygiene by taking care of your feet and washing them regularly using soap and water, trim the nail straight across to help prevent it continuing to dig into the surrounding skin.
  • Wear comfortable shoes that are not too tight and provide space around your toes
  • Surgery may be recommended in cases where an ingrown toenail is more severe. This may involve either removing a section of the affected toenail or removing the whole nail.

Left untreated, an ingrown toenail can cause the toe to become infected. The symptoms of an ingrown toenail will vary depending on how severe it is.

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Mild symptoms of an ingrown toenail may include:

  • Inflammation of the skin at the end of the toe.
  • Pain if pressure is placed on the toe.
  • Red skin in the affected area.
  • A build-up of fluid (oedema) in the area surrounding the toe.

Moderate symptoms of an ingrown toenail may include:

  • Increased inflammation of the toe.
  • White or yellow coloured pus coming from the affected area.
  • Bleeding.
  • Infection of the toe.

Severe symptoms of an ingrown toenail may include:

  • Severe pain, redness and inflammation.
  • An overgrowth of skin around the affected toe (hypertrophy).
  • Severe infection of the toe or forefoot.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does nail surgery cost?

We offer a package of care for our nail surgery patients this includes the procedure, a two week supply of dressings, dressing instructions and up to 4 follow up appointments. The cost of the package will be discussed at your initial appointment.

Can I just book in for nail surgery as my GP has confirmed that I have an ingrown toenail?

Unfortunately not. We will need to see you first to discuss the options available to you.  Sometimes we might be able to treat the nail conservatively and avoid nail surgery.

Is it going to hurt and can I get my shoe on afterwards?

We will use a local anaesthetic to numb the toe which lasts for a couple of hours. You might feel pressure but you shouldn’t feel any pain. We advise that you wear sandals home and rest your foot for the remainder of the day.

Can I drive home afterwards?

Nail surgery involves the use of a local anaesthetic. We strongly advise you NOT to drive for 24hrs after your surgery and we also ask that someone brings you to your appointment, waits for you and takes you home.

Can I go back to school/work the next day?

Usually yes you can. But you might want to avoid playing any sports for a few weeks especially swimming. You will need to be in comfortable shoes so good fitting trainers are ideal.

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