Ingrown toenails are a common foot impairment wherein the corners of the nails dig painfully next to its flesh. It happens mostly on the big toe, but can also happen on neighboring toes.
Nails usually grow straight out, but sometimes the corners curve inward due to a number of factors. If left untreated, ingrown toenails can cause irritation, redness, and swelling.
Podiatrists are medical specialists that treat a wide variety of foot problems. If at-home remedies aren’t sufficient to alleviate the condition, then you will need to undergo ingrown toenail surgery.
Here is everything you need to know about how podiatrists treat ingrown toenails.
How is ingrown toenail surgery done
Your podiatrist may recommend ingrown toenail surgery for a number of reasons:
– Your ingrown toenails keep recurring
– The nails have curved excessively
– You have diabetes (which can make complications more likely)
– The condition cannot be treated at home
Prior to the surgery, your podiatrist will clean and sanitise the affected area. Then, an anaesthetic will be injected to numb the toe.
An elastic band will be wrapped around your foot and leave your toe fingers exposed. After that, a wedge is placed underneath your nail to prop up the ingrown toenail.
Once the anaesthetic has taken effect, the podiatrist will use a scalpel to make a precision cut from the ingrown side down to the cuticle.
The cut section is then removed and frees your toe from pain and swelling. Depending on the severity of the ingrown toenail, the part of the nail or the entirety of it may be removed.
The podiatrist will proceed to use a cautery (which is an electrical heated device) to interrupt the nail matrix from which your nail grows. They may also use phenol or trichloroacetic acid to achieve the same effect.
This helps stop bleeding and prevents the section of your ingrown toenail from regrowing (or stop it from curving inward if it does regrow).
astly, the podiatrist will apply petroleum jelly to your toe and apply a bandage to cover it up. The surgery takes only 30 minutes and you’ll be well on your way home after the procedure.
Does ingrown toenail surgery hurt?
While ingrown toenails can be quite painful, the surgery itself is relatively pain free. You may feel a slight discomfort when the podiatrist injects the anaesthetic, but you should feel comfortable during the rest of the procedure.
The podiatrist will then provide you with a prescription for pain medication to relieve the pain once the anaesthetic wears off. If over-the-counter pain relievers don’t work, make sure to contact your podiatrist immediately…
Continue reading the article and learn more about ingrown toenails on Daisy Linden’s blog