Ingrowing toenails are caused when the nail is pressed or squeezed into or against the skin. This pain can range from a mild tender discomfort to a very painful sharp stabbing pain. Without treatment is sometimes creates a small amount of inflammation but at its worse it can become infected. Often when treated early enough the ingrowing toenail can be managed by a painless gentle clearing of the section of nail that is pressing against the skin. It can provide immediate relief on the day.
For some patients who are in signficiant discomfort, who have a heavy infection or who have persistant ingrowing toe nails, sometimes conservative management is not enough. For this group of patients nail surgery may be appropriate. Different to conservative treatment, nail surgery will create a long term, life long solution to the issue. Under local anaesthetic, a partial nail removal or a full nail removal can be completed, taking no longer than between 30-60 minutes. After regular checks and re-dressings over 6-8 weeks, the toe can be fully healed (though for a small group of people it can take up to 24 weeks depending on medical history). The nail sections will not grow back post-srugery and you will never have an ingrowing toe nail in that site again.