Ingrowing toenail removal

If it’s not treated, an ingrowing toenail may become infected. To prevent this you should; wash your feet regularly to keep the area clean, change socks frequently, wear properly fitting shoes, and cut your nails correctly.

I have a question about ingrowing toenail removal

What is an ingrowing toenail?

An ingrowing toenail is a relatively common condition where the toenail grows into its surrounding skin tissue, causing ingrown toenail pain.

Ingrowing toenails can be painful and may become infected if not treated appropriately. Usually, self-help measures can help prevent infection but sometimes an ingrowing toenail operation will be recommended.

What causes an ingrowing toenail and what can I do to prevent it?
  • Cut your nails well but don't cut them too short; the edge of the nail should sit over the fold of the skin
  • If your shoes constantly knock the toenails, the nail can begin to change its shape. Wear appropriate footwear to prevent this getting worse
  • Some medications may cause an ingrowing toenail, but this is rare
What are the symptoms of an ingrowing toenail?

Symptoms of an ingrowing toenail may include redness around the end of the toe, swelling of the toe and pain (especially when pressure is applied).

How is an ingrowing toenail diagnosed?

Your GP can diagnose ingrowing toenails after a quick examination and recommend any further ingrowing toenail treatment, if required. However, our Podiatry service can diagnose and treat ingrowing toenails in one session, with no GP referral required.

Will I need an ingrowing toenail operation?

If it’s not treated, an ingrowing toenail may become infected. To prevent an infected ingrown toenail, you should

  • Wash your feet regularly to keep the area clean
  • Change your socks frequently
  • Wear properly fitting shoes
  • Cut your nails correctly

If your toenail doesn't improve over time, our Consultant Podiatrists can diagnose and carry out an ingrowing toenail operation or ingrown toenail treatment as well as prescribing antibiotics for an infection. Your GP may recommend this, however a GP referral is not required for this treatment.

What happens during ingrowing toenail removal?

These procedures are quick and simple, and are carried out as day surgery, so you’ll be able to go home on the same day, but you may not be able to drive yourself. You’ll be given a local anaesthetic, so you'll be awake but you won’t be able to feel any pain in the area of the operation.

Take a look at the procedures we offer:

Simple Removal of the Toenail
This treatment is usually performed if the nail is infected. The nail usually grows back again, and there’s a 50:50 chance of the nail causing further problems again later.

Wedge Excision

This is the removal of a part of the toenail. Sometimes the surgery also includes treatment of some of the nail root, by cutting out (excision) or by applying a chemical called phenol to prevent regrowth of the nail. The wedge excision procedure results in a slightly thinner nail, and some patients will experience further problems with infection and regrowth of the nail.

Zadek's Procedure

This procedure is usually recommended for recurrent ingrowing toenails, and involves removing the toenail and the nail root (or part of it). Because the nail root contains the cells from which the nail grows, removing the root should prevent regrowth of the nail. Zadek's procedure cannot usually be carried out when there is infection present.

 

What should I expect after ingrowing toenail removal?

Ingrowing toenail removal is a small outpatient procedure where the piece of ingrowing toenail is permanently removed.

You may have some pain or discomfort after the operation which we’ll help you manage with painkillers. We’ll tell you how to care for your wound and, if you’ve had non-dissolvable stitches, we’ll make an appointment for you to have them removed. You may need to take some time off work, but you should be back to normal activity within two or three weeks.

Having surgery for an ingrowing toenail means that you should be relieved of any long-term pain associated with the condition.

Mr Liam Stapleton

Watch our podiatry webinar

Do you take your feet for granted? Healthy feet mean happy feet, and our experts are here to help. Watch our webinar, hosted by Sports Medicine Podiatrist Mr Liam Stapleton, to find out more.

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