The Shanghai Ren'ai Hospital doctors

What is Ingrown Toenail Treatment

Ingrowing toenails can be painful, unsightly and embarrassing causing discomfort and restricting our activities and footwear choices. Having the toenail partially or fully removed is often the only way to resolve this. Luckily, it’s a simple procedure that can be performed quickly and painlessly.

Ingrowing toenails develop when either one or both sides of the toenail grow into the surrounding skin. The nail curls from its natural shape and pierces the surrounding skin. This leads to the toe becoming red, swollen and tender. There is also a higher chance of infection as the nail embeds into the skin. Most of the time, ingrowing toenails are not dangerous. However, if it becomes red, hot, swollen or it begins to bleed or discharge, it should be examined by a Doctor.

The Procedure

In most cases, either part or the entire nail needs to be removed. This is done under local anaesthetic by a specialist surgeon. There are two options for removing the nail; either surgically or by using a chemical called phenol, which stops the edges of the new nail from regrowing. When the new nail grows back, it may be narrower or a different shape to the original nail.

After the treatment, a dressing will be applied to keep it clean and dry. You may also be prescribed antibiotics. Removing a toe nail with Nu Cosmetic is usually a quick and straightforward procedure and is most often performed as an out-patient procedure in our own theatre. There is normally no need to stay in hospital overnight, however prior booking is required.

Later Progress

Following the procedure, your toe may feel a little sore but simple analgesia such as paracetamol are normally all that is required. The affected foot may also be a little swollen, but this will settle of the following days.

How long does the procedure take?

The procedure normally takes 20-40 minutes.

How long do the results last?

The results are permanent however the surgery will not prevent future ingrown toenails.

Will the procedure hurt?

The procedure can be uncomfortable, so local anaesthetic is used in the area.

How many sessions will I need?

Only one session is required.

When can I go back to normal day-to-day activities?

You can go back to normal activities the same day. Your skin may be quite red and swollen for a few days after the treatment, you should consider this if you’re planning a trip or special day as you may need to wear specific footwear.

Are there any alternatives to this procedure?

Some over the counter products claim to remedy ingrown toenails, however the only definitive way to cure an ingrown toenail is through surgery.

Can I combine this procedure with other procedures?

Yes, many clients choose to have other procedures at the same time.