Ingrown Toenail Procedure

Dr. Santiago shows an Ingrown Toenail Procedure 

Actual procedure starts at 2:00 - be mindful if squeamish.

Who hasn't had an ingrown toenail in their life?

Some of the things that people talk about to do are home remedies when you have an ingrown toenail. This includes things like soaking with apple cider vinegar or epsom salts. I've heard my patients talk about cutting a V at the end of the nail and all that does is just make a V on the end of the nail. It doesn't really do anything because the nail grows from the base of the nail up. so that's some of the things that people will do.

Things that cause ingrown toenails included tight shoe gear or if you tear the nail instead of cutting it straight across. Sometimes it's just a hereditary thing that your grandma or mom or dad had and you're just predisposed to getting an ingrown toenail.

The first thing is that we can sometimes just trim the side of it and give you some relief and that's an easy fix. Sometimes it's beyond that and it gets to an infection point or it gets so far deep into the base of the nail. We have to do a little surgical procedure.

The procedure is pretty simple and after the toe is numb you don't feel anything and the relief that you get afterwards is phenomenal. The procedure can be done either temporary or permanent. If it has been an ongoing problem, then we usually do it permanent (that way it takes care of it once and for all!) 

Initially, I anesthetize the toe.  Once it's numb, then you don't feel anything. I will put a tourniquet around the toe. Basically, it's a rubber band that helps to keep the blood flow to a minimum so now I can work in the field without having to worry about blood. It also allows the phenol, which is the acid that we use, to work more properly. Once that tourniquet is placed on there,  I have to release the nail that we're going to cut off.  I trim a little section of nail, a little slither of nail, on each side or on the side that's needs to get done. I trim a little piece of it take it all the way down the root. I remove that part of the nail. Once that's removed, in order to make any permanent procedure, we put phenol in that area. Phenol is an acid that kills the matrix or the nail cells. After we have killed those two little slivers,  they won't grow back anymore. When they don't grow back, you're left with a pretty normal nail. As a matter of fact, it's hard to tell if the nail was removed or not and then you have no more issues with it!  There's less than a 5% chance of recurrence, so it is a great procedure to do!

FYI - You don't have to look at it and when the procedure is done we can lay you back so your eyes are looking up at the ceiling. 

If you have a painful ingrown toenail, we would be more than happy to help you! We have same-day appointments available .

Gaston Foot & Ankle Specialists

251 Wilmot Drive
Gastonia, NC 28054