Ingrown Nail Treatment

For hundreds of years, humans have been dealing with Ingrown Nails. There has been an array of conservative and surgical approaches to this painful and sometimes serious condition. Such conservative therapies include non-invasive spicule removal (where a podiatrist gently removes the nail spicule without local anesthesia), nail braces, packing and gutter treatment. These processes, when carried out with expertise, are able to cure the problem and the patient can avoid surgery.

The two primary approaches to the surgical treatment of ingrown nails are the Wedge Resection and the Phenolisation Procedure. Wedge Resections are usually carried out in a hospital or day surgery under a general or local anesthetic. They’re effective in curing the condition, but may be very painful post-operatively, not to mention the high expense involved. A positive of the wedge resection is the relatively short healing time.

Phenolisations, where the nail is removed without cutting or sutures, and the nail root is permanently destroyed chemically, offers many benefits to the patient. The procedure is relatively quick and painless (apart from a mild local anesthetic injection). Post surgical pain is very mild and sometimes non-existent as the chemical may cauterise the local nerve endings during the procedure. Although the healing time may be slightly longer with a Phenolisation, the cost is usually far lower than a Wedge Resection.

The relative advantages of the Phenolisation Procedure have now been published the the journal Dermatology Research and Practice; Volume 2012 (2012) where the authors write:

“Phenolisation of the lateral matrix horn is now the safest, simplest, and most commonly performed method with the lowest recurrence rate. Wedge excisions can no longer be recommended.”

At our practice we prefer Phenolisations as they’re highly effective in treating the most difficult ingrown nails. For more information or to book an appointment, contact us on 08 9304 1898.