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Is it best to have a toenail removed completely if you suffer from chronic ingrown toenails?

Q.

Is it best to have a toenail removed completely if you suffer from chronic ingrown toenails?

A.

Not always. An ingrown toenail can occur from several causes including poorly fitting shoes and improper grooming of the toenails. Correcting the underlying cause is the first step. If a spicule (a slender pointed outgrowth) of the toenail grows into the flesh at the side nail folds, it can act like a foreign body and fester. If the toe is painful and oozing, it could be infected and an oral antibiotic is necessary. Often a conservative approach is successful and surgery can be avoided. Soaking in warm water several times a day can also be helpful. When all else fails, surgery to correct the problem is needed. A portion of the toenail is removed and often the root of the nail that forms that part of the nail is permanently destroyed. This procedure results in a nail that is narrower. Sometimes if both sides of the nail become ingrown continuously, the entire nail is removed. — Phoebe Rich, M.D.

Click here to read A Doctor's Notes on Ingrown Toenail Surgery for a more complete look at this remedy for a chronic condition.

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