Sep 13, 2022

A Less Painful Way of Treating Ingrown Toenails

As a child, I often had painful, ingrown toenails.

The corners of my big toenails were often red and inflamed, and wearing shoes put unbearable pressure on the tender skin. It was hard to have any fun, or to play with other children as I was in so much pain.

Packing cotton wool underneath the nail was a popular, if uncomfortable, home remedy of the time, but despite this, my nails remained stubbornly ingrown.

The solution was to have minor toenail surgery. 

A groove was cut at the side of the nail (the sulcus), then the nail bed was scraped.  The wound was then stitched and dressed in bandages. It was extremely painful and took ages to heal, which was no fun when I wanted to walk, run and play with my friends!

While it did work – as I’ve never had a problem with ingrown toenails since - I would not wish that surgery on my worst enemy!

Thankfully, today there is a much better way of treating ingrown toenails.

How To Fix Ingrown Toenails Permanently

When my daughter developed a chronic problem with one of her toenails, I took her to a podiatrist (or chiropodist as it is known in some countries) – a health practitioner trained to take care of your lower limbs, ankles, feet and toes.

The podiatrist told us about a minor procedure known as Partial Nail Avulsion (PNA), which involves cauterising the nail with phenol. 

It takes less than an hour, and unlike my traumatic experience, there is no cutting and no stitches required.

This means that not only is it a lot less painful, but recovery time is also much shorter - so my daughter was back to playing hopscotch in no time!

After a partial nail avulsion, it’s quite rare for the toenail to become ingrown again and so far, my daughter hasn’t had any problems.

I just wanted to share the good news about this treatment, as I was just so delighted to learn that it was no longer the horrible process that I endured as a child!

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