Ingrowing ToenailsDarwin Podiatry
What is an Ingrowing Toenail?
An ingrowing toenail occurs when the edge of the nail impacts into the skin surrounding the nail. This skin is called the sulcus. There are numerous reasons why an ingrowing nail might occur:
- TRAUMA: bumping, knocking, or damaging the nail at the nail plate where the nail originates form can cause changes to the way the nail regrows. The nail may regrow thicker, or it may regrow a different shape. Often, a traumatized nail will grow involuted – this is when the nail edges curl inwards and impact into the sulcus down the entire length of the nail.
- RIPPING/PICKING NAILS: ripping or picking at your nails will often result is a small shard of nail, similar to a splinter, that remains in the very edge of the nail. When we rip our nail off, very rarely will the entire nail cleanly break away from the nail edge. This jagged, small piece of nail that remains often impacts into the side of the nail, causing focal pain, tenderness, swelling, and in serious cases, infection.
- INCORRECT NAIL CUTTING TECHNIQUES: cutting your nails too far down the sides of the nail bed can often cause impacted or involuted nails. Again, failing to cut the nail to the edge cleanly will result in spikes of nail remaining in the sides of the nail bed, which will often impact the skin.
If there is a spike of nail easily found in the side of the affected nail, your Podiatrist might be able to gently remove the spike with minimal pain, clearing the edge of any further impacting pieces. We are able to offer advice that will help you grow out your nail so re-occurring ingrowing toenails do not occur.
If there is infection, or the nail is impacted too deep to be treated conservatively, your Podiatrist will have to undergo a small procedure on the nail to fully remove the affected side of the nail. This is done under local anesthetic.
Partial Nail Avulsion with/without Cauterisation
A partial nail avulsion is performed under local anesthetic and is recommended to those patients who suffers with chronic involuted or ingrowing nails. Acute trauma can also cause an impacted nail edge which requires a nail procedure to remedy the problem. Once the toe has been anaesthetized, 3-4mm of the affected nail edge is removed from the nail matrix (located underneath the skin sulcus). Phenol is then applied within the cavity to kill the exposed matrix, which inhibits nail regrowth.
Total Nail Avulsion with / without Cauterisation
A total nail avulsion is performed under local anesthetic and is recommended to those patients who suffers with chronic involuted or ingrowing nails, or have traumatized nails that, when growing, cause pain to the toe. Acute trauma can also cause an impacted nail edge, which requires a nail procedure to remedy the problem. Once the toe has been anaesthetized, the entire nail is removed from the nail matrix (located underneath the skin sulcus). Phenol is then applied to the matrix to kill the exposed matrix, which inhibits nail regrowth.
Your Podiatrist is able to assess and advise on the best treatment option for you – if you are suffering with an ingrowing toenail, call Darwin Podiatry on 8941 9955 to make an appointment today.