An ingrown nail is a painful condition characterized by the nail digging into the surrounding skin, leading to inflammation and possible infection of the toe. People with diabetes or peripheral vascular disease must avoid any form of self treatment and seek medical care as soon as possible.
Some people are prone to ingrown nails because of the shape of the nail, suffering repeated episodes of pain, inflammation, and infection. However, nails can also become ingrown due to trauma caused by shoes, a sports injury or badly cut nails. In most cases the condition can be treated with conservative treatment by carefully removing the spicule of nail which has penetrated the skin. If the problem is persistent nail surgery may be needed.
Nail surgery is a procedure carried out under local anaesthetic to remove part of a nail or the whole nail. Problem nails can be ingrown nails or curved or thick nails that are causing pain.
Partial nail avulsion and Total nail avulsion are minor surgical procedures used to treat ingrown nails.
Nail surgery is carried out using a local anaesthetic injected into both sides of the base of the toe. When the toe is completely numb, a tourniquet is applied to minimise bleeding and a section of the nail or the whole nail is removed. A chemical called phenol is then applied to the area where the nail has been removed. This prevents the nail growing back. The appointment usually takes about 45-60minutes.