Partial nail avulsion with phenolization is a medical procedure used to treat ingrown toenails that are recurrent or severe. It is typically performed by a dermatologist. Here’s how the procedure works:
- Assessment: The first step is a thorough assessment of the ingrown toenail and the surrounding area. The doctor will evaluate the severity of the ingrown nail, any signs of infection, and your overall foot health.
- Anesthesia: Local anesthesia is administered to numb the toe and the area around the ingrown toenail. This ensures that you won’t feel pain during the procedure.
- Partial Nail Avulsion: With the toe numb, the doctor will use specialized tools to carefully remove the ingrown portion of the toenail. This often involves cutting away the edge or corner of the nail.
- Phenolization: After the ingrown portion of the nail is removed, phenol (a chemical compound) is applied to the exposed nail matrix or nail bed. This is done to prevent the ingrown portion of the nail from regrowing. Phenolization destroys the nail matrix cells responsible for nail growth in that specific area.
- Dressing and Bandaging: A sterile dressing or bandage is applied to the treated area to protect it and prevent infection.
- Recovery and Aftercare: This typically involves keeping the area clean, changing dressings as directed, and taking any prescribed antibiotics if an infection was present. You may need to wear open-toed or loose-fitting shoes for a period to minimize pressure on the toe.
- Follow-up: You’ll have a follow-up appointment with your healthcare provider to monitor the healing process.
It’s essential to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions carefully to ensure proper healing and prevent complications. The treated toenail may take several weeks to months to fully grow back, and it may look different than before. In some cases, complete nail regrowth may not occur.
Partial nail avulsion with phenolization is effective in preventing the recurrence of ingrown toenails in many cases. However, as with any medical procedure, there are potential risks and complications, so it’s essential to discuss the procedure thoroughly with your healthcare provider and make an informed decision.