Podiatrists often treat ingrown toenails, a common foot problem, with various approaches depending on the severity of the condition. Here are the most common treatments provided by podiatrists for ingrown toenails at Highett Podiatry.

Conservative Management:

    • Soaking: Mild cases of ingrown toenails may be treated with warm water soaks, usually mixed with salt, to reduce inflammation and infection risk.  Betadine liquid is also indicated in the management of mild ingrown toenails.
    • Proper Trimming: Podiatrists can demonstrate the correct way to trim toenails, emphasising straight across rather than rounded edges to prevent ingrowth.

Oral Antibiotics:

    • If the ingrown toenail is infected, an endorsed podiatrist may prescribe oral antibiotics to clear the infection. Antibiotics may be used in conjunction with other treatments.  Topical antibiotic creams may also be used.

Partial Nail Removal (Partial Nail Avulsion):

    • For more severe ingrown toenails, podiatrists often perform a partial nail removal procedure. This involves numbing the toe with a local anesthetic and then carefully cutting and removing the ingrown portion of the nail. The nail matrix (the tissue where the nail grows from) may also be treated to prevent regrowth of the ingrown nail edge.
    • This procedure is usually done in the podiatrist’s office and is relatively quick and minimally painful.

Complete Nail Removal (Total Nail Avulsion):

    • In very severe or recurrent cases, podiatrists may recommend removing the affected toenail completely. This procedure is typically reserved for extreme cases or when other treatments have been unsuccessful.
    • After the nail is removed, the nail matrix may also be treated to prevent future nail regrowth, all alternatively may be left to grow back naturally again.

Chemical or Phenolization Procedure:

    • Following a partial or complete nail removal, podiatrists may use a chemical (typically phenol) to destroy the nail matrix tissue. This is done to ensure that the ingrown portion of the nail does not regrow.
    • The chemical is applied directly to the nail matrix, effectively stopping nail regrowth in that area. It may also help prevent ingrown nails from returning.

Nail bracing:

    • At Highett Podiatry we us a conservative treatment method known as Onyfix.  Onyfix is adhered to the nail plate to widen and reduce the curve of the nail. 

Podiatrists will assess the severity of the ingrown toenail and consider your overall health and any potential underlying causes when determining the most appropriate treatment option. In many cases, conservative management and proper toenail care can alleviate the problem. However, for more severe or recurrent cases, minor surgical procedures like partial nail removal or chemical treatments may be recommended to provide long-lasting relief from ingrown toenails. If you suspect you have an ingrown toenail or are experiencing pain, it’s essential to seek professional care from a podiatrist to prevent complications and obtain effective treatment.

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