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Ingrown Toenails

Is a very common condition of the foot, but seen in young active adults in particular.

What is an ingrown toe nail?

This is where the side of the nail punctures the soft-tissue fold (nail sulcus) causing pain and chronic inflammation. The body will see the nail as a "foreign body" like a spell or splinter and tries to destroy it, which sets up a chronic inflammatory response. This is seen as redness and swelling and reddy-purple tissue called granulation tissue in response to the "foreign body". This is usually accompanied by infection and a yellow or white pus-like discharge is often seen.

Sometimes the inflammatory response is not present and it is the shape of the nail (abnormal curved or involuted nail), which causes the nail to dig into the side of the nail sulcus.


Where this is being caused by the nail shape rather than inflammation & infection, regular podiatry treatment by a HPC-registered podiatrist can help relieve symptoms.

Ingrown Toenail Surgery

There are two main types of procedure in common use. One involves removing the nail section and applying a chemical (ablation) to destroy the nail-producing tissue (partial nail avulsion PNA); the other involves removing a section of the nail and inflammed tissue (nail wedge resection). In our practice, both are utilized but generally we prefer to use the nail wedge resection because healing is much faster than with chemical ablation. Both carry the same types of risks such as infection and regrowth of nail (nail spicule); but these are less than 5%.

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