Chemical or Surgical Treatment in Ingrown Toenails? Practical Issues from a Case Series

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Abstract

Introduction: An ingrown toenail is a serious medical problem that cannot be overlooked, and the decision of choosing between conservative versus surgical treatment may be difficult in daily practice.

Case series presentation: We present the cases of two young men with a long history of ingrown toenails, previously treated by complete nail avulsion, numerous topical applications of antibiotics, and 5% silver nitrate, successfully treated with caustic chemical agents, compared to a 19-year-old athlete with debilitating pain, intense inflammatory changes, infection, granulation tissue induced by skin penetration of lateral nail edge by an incurved toenail, in whom surgical treatment was needed.

Conclusion: Chemical matricectomy in the absence of any surgical intervention, along with patience allowing the nail to grow, could be an option that is easy to perform in case of ingrown nails. However, the selection of cases is important, taking into balance the benefit-risk ratio.

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