Ingrown Toenail Treatment Darwin
What is an Ingrown Toenail?
Medically known as onychocryptosis, ingrown toenail is a painful condition that usually affects the big toe but can occur on any of our toes.
It is when the nail continues to grow into the sides of the flesh which can cause tenderness, swelling, redness and inflammation. When the nail has pierced the protective skin layer, there is a portal of entry for bacteria resulting in localised infection and exudate.
This makes it very difficult to wear enclosed footwear or sometimes, even walking becomes painful.
People who have Diabetes and peripheral vascular conditions pose a higher risk of complications.
Causes and Risk Factors of Ingrown Toenails
Poor fitting footwear such as tight toebox does not allow the toes to move comfortably inside the shoes.
As a general guide, aim to have an adequate thumb's width gap between your longest toe and at the end of the shoe for a proper fit.
2) Picking of toenails
Many children pick or bite on their nails out of habit and over time, this can weaken the state of the nails.
Picking usually results in a nail spicule that remains in the nail sulcus becoming an ingrown toenail.
3) Incorrect cutting technique
Do not cut down the sides of toenails. This may in fact result in a cycle of ingrown toenails because the nail struggles to grow over the sulcus.
Always cut your nail straight across in length and never too short.
A traumatic incident such as losing a toenail after a long downhill hike may result in the new nail growing improperly.
Fungus causes the toenail to change its shape, usually curling into the sides and pinching on the flesh.
Fungal nail infection also causes thickening of the toenail which increases pressure on the nail bed if a tight footwear is worn.
Chemotherapy and certain oral medications can cause different symptoms affecting the nails. Most changes that occur during chemotherapy are temporary.
Ingrown Toenail Treatment
Your Podiatrist will first assess the ingrown toenail cause and discuss with you which method is best suited for you. We always aim to provide the most effective treatment with the least amount of pain so that you may walk out of our clinic feeling significantly more comfortable.
For minor ingrown toenail problems, our podiatrists can conservatively trim away the affected nail portion that is causing the pain. This treatment is often done on the same day as your first appointment so as to provide you with immediate pain relief.
At home, we recommend daily soaking of your foot in warm salty water and antisepsis application until the infection settles.
Antibiotics may be necessary to get rid of the bacterial infection but they do not remove the ingrown toenail.
If the ingrown toenail is severe or a recurring problem, a minor nail avulsion surgery is normally required.
Permanent Long Term Treatment
Nail Avulsion Surgery is an effective treatment with excellent success rates for those seeking long-term permanent resolution of persisting ingrown toenails.
The procedure is done under local anaesthesia to ensure the surgery process is pain-free.
Then the affected portion of the nail is removed followed by cauterisation using phenol so that the affected part of the nail does not grow back.
This is a very safe procedure with little to no complications, risks or side effects. It has fast healing time and good cosmetic outcomes.
Our podiatrists are qualified medical professionals to perform the surgery in the clinic.
Involuted or curved toenails
Nail deformities secondary to fungal nail infections