The management of ingrowing toenails - BMJ review

Ingrowing toenails are common, cause serious disability, and affect mainly young men. Most patients with ingrowing toenails are usually male, between the ages of 15 and 40 years.

There is a spectrum to the clinical presentation with pain progressing to infection, hypergranulation, and finally chronic infection.

Ingrowing toenails can occur in normal or abnormally shaped nails.

Cases in abnormally shaped nails are more difficult to manage conservatively and usually require surgery

Historically, a recurrence rate of 13-50% has been reported after surgical treatment, although more recent papers have reported recurrence rates of less than 5%.

Symptoms are less likely to recur after partial nail avulsion and segmental phenol ablation than after simple nail avulsion or wedge excisions alone.

Podiatrist Dr. Matthew Neuhaus explains what an ingrown toenail is (video):

Ingrown toenail surgery by Dr. Leo Krawetz (video). Warning: graphic content, do not try this at home:


The management of ingrowing toenails. BMJ, 2012;344:e2089.
Nail Abnormalities: Clues to Systemic Disease - a good review from American Family Physician

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