Podiatry

Ingrown Toenail Surgery.

Don’t let your toenails be a source of ongoing pain.

Experiencing pain and swelling on your toes?

Ingrown toenails occur when a small part of the toenail pierces and penetrates down the side of the surrounding skin. The result is often pain, redness, and swelling in the affected toe. The wound may bleed, and it is common for an infection to develop, causing yellow, white, or clear discharge to present at the border of the nail.

There are many causes for an ingrown toenail, some of which include:

  • Trauma or injury to the toe
  • Tight-fitting footwear
  • Improper nail cutting
  • Infection of the nail or nail bed
  • Lack of regular foot hygiene
  • Oedema (swelling of the feet)

It is important to remember that ingrown toenails are not self-healing and often worsen without treatment.

Ingrown Toenail Treatment Toowoomba

Ingrown Toenail Treatment

There are many ways to treat an ingrown toenail. The treatment you are recommended will depend on the severity of the ingrown nail, whether any infection is present, and what treatments have previously been used.

Some forms of treatment may include:

  • Soaking the feet in warm salt water or apple cider vinegar baths (to help clean out any debris or infection, as well as soften the nail)
  • Dressing the affected nail with betadine and a bandage (to protect it and reduce the risk of infection)
  • Applying topical antibiotic creams (only prescribed for obvious signs of infection, like redness and pus)
  • Gently lift the corner of the nail and ensure that it’s cut straight (do not cut down the edges, as this may lead to further problems)
  • Avoiding tight-fitting footwear (in fact, wearing open-toed footwear where possible until the ingrown nail is dealt with)

It is recommended that you immediately see a Toowoomba podiatrist if:

  • The issue is not getting any better or worse after multiple courses of antibiotics
  • You have an infected ingrown toenail and new skin is starting to grow over it
  • You’re unable to put weight on the toe, or the ingrown toenail is otherwise impacting your quality of life
  • There are no signs of improvement after a week of home treatments
  • If you have diabetes, poor circulation, are undergoing chemotherapy, or have a medical condition that can cause poor wound healing or put you at increased risk for infection

We will begin by taking down your medical history and performing a careful assessment of your ingrown toenail. This information will be used to recommend the best possible treatment plan.

More Aggressive Ingrown Toenail Treatment .

While some people may only experience an ingrown toenail once and so can manage it conservatively, many may suffer from repeated ingrown toenails, often affecting the same border of the nail. If this is not your first ingrown toenail, we may recommend a permanent solution in the form of ingrown toenail surgery in an effort to prevent the problem from continuing to cause you pain in the future.

We have two primary options available:

A PNA is a minor procedure performed in the treatment chair. It takes one hour, with approximately 15-20 minutes of ‘procedure’ time, and the rest is spent on prep work and dressing the toe afterward. This ingrown toenail surgery is comfortable as it is completed under local anaesthetic.

During a PNA, we remove a small portion of the troublesome nail and apply a chemical that destroys the nail-growing cells. This means that you will not continue to produce a nail in that small corner of the nail that we address. Instead, your nail will appear to have a smooth and straight nail border. The nail does not look abnormal and, once healed, it is often unnoticeable that you’ve had the procedure done at all.

We monitor you carefully in the weeks following the procedure to ensure it is healing well, to show you how to care for your toe, and to reapply the dressings until it has healed.

To read a case study of a partial nail avulsion completed on an ingrown toenail, click here.

Timeframes

  • Appointment length – 60 minutes
  • One day of rest is recommended (treatment day)
  • 2-8 weeks for recovery
  • Appearance changes – minor to none
  • Pain level – local anaesthetic
  • Success Rate – 80% long-term resolution success

A TNA procedure is very similar in its methodology to a PNA, except that instead of removing a small portion of the ingrown nail, the entire nail is removed. This is often selected by patients who not only have an ingrown toenail but also changes to the structure or appearance of their toenails (like nail thickening, nail shape distortion, a moth-eaten appearance from toenail fungus, and similar problems).

With a TNA, there are two options after removing the nail:

  • Permanently prevent the nail from growing back by chemically destroying the nail-growing cells
  • Allow the nail to regrow, in the hopes that the appearance/structure will improve as the nail starts ‘fresh’

With the latter option, your ingrown nail may recur. Many people who have TNAs do believe the ingrown nail is associated with changes to the nail shape or structure, and having the procedure may prevent them from coming back.

Time to nip that ingrown toenail in the bud? Book an appointment with our team today to discuss your options.

Can I Prevent Ingrown Toenails?

The good news is that, in many cases, ingrown toenails may be preventable. Our podiatrists have provided some general advice:

  • Cutting your nails straight across, never down the sides
  • Filing the corners of the nail to remove any sharp edges
  • Avoiding footwear that is too tight at the front (socks included)
  • Avoiding picking at your toenails, and running anything down the side of them that has not been properly sterilised

Exercising proper foot hygiene (like taking regular showers and washing your feet with soap) may also go a long way to ensuring that your toenails do not become ingrown.

Ingrown Toenail Surgery Warwick

Your Ingrown Toenail Questions Answered .

Suffering from ingrown toenails is often a painful and frustrating ordeal. An ingrown toenail means that the nail edge has penetrated and grown into the surrounding skin. In most cases, the nail curves down into the skin, but in some cases it could be that there is excess skin/tissue surrounding the nail that the nail has grown into. Either way, the nail has pierced the skin.

Ingrown toenails don’t just have one distinct cause but have many. For a lot of people, it is their nail-cutting technique. Toenails should be cut in a straight, clean line. Curving the edges of the nail too much can encourage the nail to curve down into the skin. Not cutting the very edge of the nail and ‘pulling’ the nail off can also leave a nail spicule at the edge of the nail which will then grow into the skin. It is often difficult to see or obstructed by the surrounding skin so you won’t know that it’s there. 

Following the same principle, ‘picking’ your nails instead of cutting them can cause the same issue. 

Tight footwear may also cause ingrown toenails because of the pressure it creates on the toes and surrounding skin that pushes into the nail. For others, their cause is uncontrollable genetic factors that dictate the way their nails grow.

The main symptom is pain with touch, pressure, and movement. The toe may often appear red and swollen. As with anything that breaks the skin, ingrown toenails pose a serious risk of infection, so they must be treated with caution.

Those with diabetes, nerve damage, or poor circulation should never attempt to treat their ingrown toenails at home. 

If you have good general health and suspect you have an ingrown toenail, soak the nail in warm salty water for five minutes then dry thoroughly. 

If pain persists, it will need to be examined by your podiatrist who will determine the proper course of treatment. This will involve treating the infection if present and clearing the offending nail edge. 

Because ingrown toenails may reoccur, you can discuss with your podiatrist if a more permanent way of stopping ingrown toenails is appropriate for you. We do this by using a solution to stop the nail cells at the edge of the nail from growing as part of a minor surgical procedure. This aims to leave you with a normal and straight-looking nail edge. Your podiatrist will also provide you with education and advice for managing and caring for your toes. 

Why Choose Optimise Health?

State-of-the-Art Facilities

We’re proud of our modern treatment rooms and facilities — come and check them out for yourself! Plus, take advantage of the latest technologies and treatment methods.

Proactive Treatment

The last thing we want is for your ingrown toenail problem to reoccur, which is why we are committed to getting to the source of the issue from the beginning.

Multi-Disciplinary Approach

The Optimise Health team is composed of various allied health professionals to ensure that you receive a well-rounded approach to your care and treatment plan.

Seek Podiatric Care for Ingrown Toenails .

For the most part, ingrown toenails are preventable and may be managed conservatively without the need for surgery. In particularly severe cases or if the issue is occurring frequently, however, a more aggressive form of treatment may be required. The skilled podiatry team at Optimise Health has ample experience dealing with ingrown toenails — we are ready and waiting to help you walk comfortably as soon as possible.

Ingrown Toenail Surgery Toowoomba

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