We’re going to be blunt – ingrown toenails suck. They’re painful, frustrating and make even the simplest tasks (like wearing shoes!) extremely difficult as you wince with every step. Perhaps what’s even worse than having an ingrown toenail is having one during the busy festive season. Yep, we’re talking about Christmas! Because the downtime for different treatments varies greatly, we thought we’d share how we’d go about caring for ingrown toenails if it was us during the peak period!
If you haven’t already heard about how the BS brace has changed the game in conservatively treating ingrown toenails, then check this out!
The BS brace is a small, thin and almost invisible brace that is positioned across the problematic, curved nail. We love it because it’s painless and has a quick and easy application – meaning you get to sit back, relax and add to your Instagram story a pic of how your toenails are finally getting #sorted. Once the brace is applied, the process starts working and gradually the nail edges are gently and carefully lifted out of the nail fold.
While the BS brace is a great option for some, we understand that others just want that pesky sharp nail edge gone, and they want it gone yesterday. This is where the Partial Nail Avulsion (PNA) procedure comes in!
A PNA is a minor surgical procedure (don’t worry, it’s just performed in the chair in our clinic) completed under local anaesthetic, so you don’t feel a thing. Here, we literally remove the small nail side that is growing down into the skin and causing you grief. After this, we apply a chemical that actually destroys the nail growing cells located at the base of the nail. Cool, right? This way, the very edge of the nail simply doesn’t grow new nail, and you’re left with a very straight nail edge. Because we only removed a small portion of the side of the nail, you’re left with a normal and healthy looking nail – just like when we have a tooth pulled at the gum closes around it after it heals and then the area looks totally normal again.
The reason behind our after Christmas recommendation is because as with any procedure that involves removing something (like a piece of nail) from the body, even when it’s superficial, comes the healing and recovery time. For a PNA, this can range from two to six weeks on average, and where you sit within that time frame often depends on the severity of your ingrown toenail, whether an infection was already present and how well you take care of it in the weeks following – which means rest!
If there’s one thing we’d love for you to take away from reading this, it’s that you NEED to do something for your ingrown toenails. Cutting it back yourself may temporarily relieve your discomfort (if done right, otherwise it’ll just make it worse) but it doesn’t do anything to permanently solve your problem! This means you’ll likely keep getting ingrown toenail after ingrown toenail. Perhaps you’ll see a Podiatrist to keep it under control every six months or so. But after a couple of visits, that adds up and you will have wished you had just got it sorted all those years ago – especially if the ingrown pops up during an overseas holiday or a flat our week at work where you don’t have time to get away to have it sorted.
Even better than getting it sorted is doing so from a team that specialises in caring for ingrown toenails like we do! For any questions or to book an appointment, give our fantastic team a call on 1300-FX-FEET or drop in to one of our Melbourne clinics!