The occasional removal of an ingrowing toenail

Can J Rural Med. 2005 Summer;10(3):173-80.


The ingrowing toenail is a painful foot condition that can be treated by most rural physicians. If it is not too severe, conservative management can be initiated first. If the situation is not improving or is worsening, removal of the nail plate with destruction of the nail matrix, by either surgical or chemical matricectomy, is indicated. Neither matricectomy technique is particularly complicated. Quick healing, minimal postoperative morbidity, high success rates and cosmetically acceptable results are the rule. Risks associated with the procedure include infection, chronic ulcer formation, pain, prolonged healing, irregular nail regrowth and recurrence. Patients should be aware of these risks before the matricectomy is performed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / therapeutic use
  • Caustics / therapeutic use
  • Disinfectants / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Nails, Ingrown / pathology
  • Nails, Ingrown / surgery
  • Nails, Ingrown / therapy*
  • Phenol / therapeutic use
  • Toes / pathology
  • Toes / surgery*


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Caustics
  • Disinfectants
  • Phenol