Ingrown toenails can be extremely painful and carry a significant risk of infection if not effectively managed. We offer two solutions to help alleviate the pain from ingrown toenails - and keep them gone for good.
Standard treatment for ingrown toenails
This treatment is for those that do not have a history of recurring ingrown toenails, or can attribute their ingrown nail to a very specific cause, like wearing a certain narrow pair of shoes, that isn’t like to happen again in the future.
We start by assessing the extent of the swelling, the presence of any infection, and that area at which the nail has penetrated the skin. We then carefully trim back the nail and remove the nail spicule that has pierced the skin and is causing pain. This does not require any anaesthetic, is completed quickly, and you are able to feel an immediate pressure relief and a decrease in pain.
After the symptoms settle (depending on severity, may take 1-2 days), you should no longer feel any pain at the nail. While being a great symptom reliever, this does not stop ingrown toenails from coming back in the future, especially if you’ve had them before. For a permanent solution, see the PNA procedure below.
Partial Nail Avulsion (PNA)
PNA’s are a minor surgical procedure performed as you sit back and relax in the treatment chair. They are performed under local anaesthetic that is applied to the toe, meaning you don’t feel a thing. During the procedure, a small section of the side of the affected toenail is removed. Don’t worry - once it heals, it will simply resemble a very straight nail edge and won’t look drastically different. After removing the problematic nail border, a chemical called phenol is applied to the area of the nail growing cells to destroy them. This means new nail will not grow from this area.
PNA’s produce permanent results in approximately 4 out of 5 patients. This is because the body may regenerate and heal the nail growing cells, so the nails continue to grow. Unfortunately, this is largely dependant on your body’s repair process and is out of our control.
After your procedure, we will dress your toe and you will need to rest for the remainder of the day. You will return in 1-3 days for a dressing change where we will check on the progress of your toe, re-dress the toe, and provide you with a take-home pack to keep changing your dressing for the next week - and teach you how to do so.
Many patients do not experience discomfort following the procedure after the anaesthesia has worn off, but if you do, you can take standard paracetamol-based painkillers to manage any discomfort.