Nail Surgery

Ingrowing Toenail

Ingrowing toenails can be a painful condition whereby the nail penetrates the skin surrounding the nail. The toe can become red, painful, swollen and infected. It is advised that you visit your Podiatrist or Chiropodist for an assessment as soon as possible if you are suffering from an ingrowing toe nail as complications secondary to an ingrowing toenail can pose a serious health risk. If you think your toe may be infected consult with your GP, antibiotics can also be arranged through Herts Wellness via your podiatrist who can request antibiotic cover from your GP following on from a consultation

What causes ingrowing toenails?

  • Inappropriate nail cutting – cutting your toenails too short, or cutting into the edges, will encourage the skin to become ingrown
  • Wearing tight-fitting shoes, socks or tights – this places pressure on the skin around your toenail.
  • Sweaty feet – if the skin around your toenails is soft, it's easier for your nail to pierce it and embed itself within it
  • Trauma – Stubbing your toe can sometimes cause an ingrown toenail to develop
  • Natural shape of the nail

Treatment Options:

Partial nail avulsion

A partial nail avulsion (PNA) removes part of the toenail and is the most commonly used minor operation performed by a Podiatrist or Chiropodist for treating ingrown toenails.

How is the procedure performed?

A local anesthetic will be administered to numb your toe and the edges of your toenail are cut away. A chemical called phenol is applied to the affected area to prevent the nail growing back and becoming ingrown in the future. It is approximately 98% effective

A course of antibiotics may be prescribed by your GP if your toe is infected.

Total nail avulsion

A Total nail avulsion (TNA) completely removes the toenail. This may be necessary if your nail is thick and pressing down onto the underlying nail bed. After you toenail has been removed, you will have an indentation where your nail used to be. However, it's completely safe for you not to have a toenail.

What to expect at you nail surgery appointments

Initial consultation is 30 minutes, this will include a full medical history and discuss if nail surgery is indicated.

Appointment 1

The Podiatrist will carry our a neurovascular assessment, asses the foot and toe and if infection is present, antibiotic cover will be requested via your GP. If there are no contraindications present then the surgery will be carried out with informed consent. Please wear sandals to your appointment as you will have a large dressing. Driving is not permitted on the day of nail surgery so please note that you need to arrange for a friend/relative or taxi to collect you after your appointment. An after care information pack will be provided along with verbal and written advice. For all nail surgery patients we offer a 24 hour advice line but if you have any concerns please seek medical attention immediately. Rest is advised for the rest of the day.

Removal of an ingrown toenail

Appointment 2

At your second appointment usually within 3 days of your nail surgery, the toe and surgery site will be assessed and the toe redressed.

Appointment 3

At your final appointment which would normally be 7 days following your nail surgery, the toe will be examined and further advice issued.

Please see our blog section for further information.

Please note, if further dressings are required at your third appointment this will incur an additional cost at this time.

Future appointments and after care will be discussed with your Podiatrist Ashleigh at your final visit.