Medically known as onychocryptosis, it occurs when the edge of a toenail, usually the big toe, grows into the surrounding skin. This can lead to symptoms such as pain, redness, swelling and sometimes an infection. Various factors may contribute to the development of an ingrown toenail, such as improper nail trimming, tight or narrow shoes, injury, or a natural predisposition due to the curvature of the nail.
Ingrown toenail removal, or a toenail avulsion, is a common procedure performed to treat an ingrown toenail. During this procedure, the portion of the toenail that is growing into the skin is removed to alleviate pain and prevent infection. In some cases, the entire nail may need to be removed. The process is typically performed under local anaesthesia – where the toe is numbed, but the patient remains awake throughout.
The decision to remove an ingrown toenail often stems from discomfort and recurrent infections. Here are some of the common reasons:
Despite home care or conservative treatments, some ingrown toenails continue to cause significant pain.
If the area around the ingrown toenail repeatedly becomes infected, removal may be necessary.
The pain or infection might interfere with walking or wearing shoes.
Treatment options in Singapore for an ingrown toenail range from home remedies to surgical intervention. The choice of treatment depends on the severity/stage of the condition. Conservative treatments may involve warm compresses, changing of footwear. These are typically recommended for mild cases. Sometimes topical or oral antibiotics may be required. If these approaches don’t alleviate the issue, a partial or complete toenail avulsion might be necessary. This surgical procedure involves the doctor removing part or all of the nail under local anaesthesia and treating the nail bed (matricectomy) to prevent recurrence.
You can use your Integrated Shield Plans to pay for certain procedures. Speak to us to learn more, and you’ll be surprised at how affordable private healthcare can be.
We are dedicated to your skin health and well-being. Our results-oriented approach is suitable for a wide range of hair, skin and nail conditions. Consult our MOH-accredited dermatologist for a personalised treatment plan.
MBBS (S'pore) MRCP (UK) FAMS (Dermatology)
Dr. Lee Hwee Chyen is an accredited Adult & Paediatric dermatologist managing a wide range of skin, hair and nail conditions. The clinic provides services for medical, surgical, cosmetic, women’s and paediatric dermatology.
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101 Irrawaddy Road #16-09
Royal Square at Novena, Singapore 329565
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The procedure is performed under local anaesthesia, so you shouldn’t feel pain during the process. There may be some discomfort or soreness afterwards, but this can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.
If only a portion of the toenail was removed, the nail will usually grow back. If the entire nail and nail bed were treated to prevent a recurrence, the nail might not regrow.
Proper foot care can help prevent ingrown toenails. This includes cutting your toenails straight across, wearing properly fitted shoes, and avoiding trauma to your toes.
Recovery time varies, but most people can resume normal activities within a few days. However, the nail area may take a few weeks to completely heal.
Risks can include infection, bleeding, and the possibility of the ingrown toenail recurring.