We have the pleasure of seeing and treating a lot of ingrown toenails. That’s not sarcastic at all – successfully treating ingrown toenails provides an immense amount of relief to suffering patients and using our skills to do this successfully is something we’re very proud of.
There’s a common theme to many of the first visits we have with our patients, however, that we thought we’d shed some light on in case you happen to find yourself in this boat too. This theme is the I-googled-it-so-it-must-work home remedies for ingrown toenails.
Now, don’t get us wrong. Some of the strategies you try may well alleviate your pain and have you feeling much better. There’s almost always a catch though: It’s temporary.
Repeated ingrown toenail occurrence
The unfortunate truth is that if you’ve suffered from the terrible pains of ingrown toenails more than once, the reality is that you’re almost definitely going to suffer from them again. One-off ingrown toenails absolutely do occur, but the cause is usually a particular pair of tight shoes that push the nail into the skin and they don’t tend to occur again after you’ve stopped wearing them. Repetitive ingrown toenails are the best indicator that there’s something going on, that the nail has now started growing in an abnormal way that ends up penetrating the skin, and that it’s going to continue to happen.
So, why advise against home remedies?
The first reason is that without knowing exactly what you’re doing, you could be further encouraging the nail to continue to grow in a way that will cause you a tremendous amount of pain.
Take the way your nail is cut, for example. If you think that cutting down into the corner and removing the piece of nail will discourage it from growing there again – the reality is the exact opposite. Curving down and removing that painful nail edge will likely encourage the nail to keep curving a growing down – unless you know what you’re doing and understand the characteristics of nail growth.
The second reason is that as health professionals, we don’t want you to suffer with ongoing pain. Experiencing pain every 3 months from an ingrown toenail isn’t a great solution in our opinion, and especially not when you can have a one-time permanent procedure that will have you saying goodbye to ingrown toenails for good.
So, what is this procedure?
The procedure we’re talking about is called a partial nail avulsion (PNA). It involves removing a small part of the nail (the part that causes you pain!) and applying a chemical that will stop that small portion of nail from growing back and continuing to cause you grief, over and over again.
We love this procedure because:
- It’s done simply and effectively in-clinic
- It’s completed in 60 minutes (with the procedure time typically around 20 minutes)
- It’s performed under local anaesthetic so is pain-free
- You do not need to take any additional time off work/school following the procedure & can go home immediately
- You don’t need any special boots or braces while the toe heals
- The procedure causes very little post-procedure discomfort
- We dress your toe, provide you with a take-home dressing pack & re-dressing instructions
- We monitor your progress to ensure it’s healing well
While we perform conservative one-off care for first-time ingrown toenails or those with a definitive cause that is not likely to recur, the PNA is our best recommendation for those that are repetitively putting up with and suffering from ingrown toenails. We have tremendous success with the procedure and have prevented hundreds of patients from continuing to regularly suffer. Our team are experts when it comes to ingrown toenails and we love seeing the difference that having this procedure makes in the lives of our patients.