Ingrown Nail – Onychoplasty

Onychoplasty. Ingrown nail is a pathological condition in which the lateral margin of the nail plate grows to the adjacent skin of the finger.

The condition may be unilateral or bilateral. It often occurs to athletes. The big toe of the foot is most commonly afflicted. It can also be found in other fingers of the lower limb or more rarely of the upper limb.

The ingrown nail is due to a congenital anatomical disorder in the finger germinal matrix. This is the area, in the base of the nail under the skin, where the nail plate is regenerated. It seems that the condition is caused to these individuals when certain predisposing factors act, such as:

  • deep nail cutting
  • tight shoes and tight socks
  • constant humidity presence in the area
  • recurrent minor injuries
  • nail plate thickening after local fungal infections
  • curved nail plate

The course of the disease has two stages: the initial stage of inflammation and the second stage of proliferation.

During the first stage of inflammation, as the nail grows pathologically, the skin is injured. The finger becomes edematous, red and sore.

If not resolved, the condition develops in the second stage of proliferation. In that stage there is an outflow of yellowish, smelly, seropurulent fluid. Furthermore, hypertrophic skin lesions occur and granulomatous tissue that bleeds easily.

Treating, at the initial stage of inflammation, is conservative, including good care by aesthetic-podiatrist and improvement of local conditions. This treatment does not address the anatomical problem and recurrences may be common.

When the disease progresses or when it recurs frequently, surgical treatment with histological examination is considered as a treatment of choice. Onychoplasty is performed, during which the abnormal part of the nail matrix is removed. The aesthetic result is excellent.