How do you permanently fix an ingrown toenail?

If you’re trying to figure out how do you permanently fix an ingrown toenail, the answer is a procedure known as a chemical matrixectomy.


Ingrown toenails are painful, and your Lewisburg, TN, podiatrist has a solution that can permanently prevent ingrown toenails. What is it? It’s called a matrixectomy. And it’s the answer to the question, “How do you permanently fix an ingrown toenail?” 

What is a matrixectomy?


While it might sound like a futuristic method of tapping into Neo’s famous Matrix, a matrixectomy is a podiatric procedure that involves removing part of a toenail. It’s done for people with hereditary or trauma-based, chronic ingrown toenails. People with diabetes or poor circulation may want to consider this procedure if they have a history of ingrown toenails.

How it’s done


If your podiatrist in Lewisburg, TN, has recommended a matrixectomy, you should know that it is a simple in-office procedure that won’t have a negative long-term effect on your day-to-day activities. The day of the procedure, you’ll need to keep your toes clean, and wear flip-flops or other open-toe or loose shoes. When you get to the office, your toe will be numbed with a topical, local anesthetic. Then, we’ll use phenol to target the root of the ingrown toenail. This keeps it from regrowing.

What happens after the procedure?


Not much. You’ll be instructed to stay off your feet as much as possible. While this doesn’t mean you can’t walk to your car or get up to get a glass of water, the first day is a great excuse to take off work, keep your foot elevated, and binge watch your favorite Netflix show. Remember, although it is a very simple procedure, you might experience bleeding, numbness, or minor pain for 6 to 10 hours after you leave the office. Your podiatrist might also recommend that you take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory or pain reliever.


On day two, you can remove your gauze/wound dressing and return to normal activities, including bathing and showering. If you have trouble removing the bandage at first, soak your foot in warm water for about 10 minutes. When it’s time to redress your toe, use a topical antibiotic and then secure a small piece of gauze with tape or a bandage.

What’s normal and what’s not after a matrixectomy?


Pain, swelling, and even some minor bleeding and drainage may last for up to four weeks if the border of the nail was removed. If your entire nail was removed, you may not have a follow-up appointment for 6 to 8 weeks, at which time you should be healed up nicely.


If you’re suffering from an ingrown toenail, DIY treatments might help. Soaking your foot in salt water for a few minutes each day and keeping your nails trimmed properly can go a long way toward easing pain and reducing future occurrences. However, your podiatrist may recommend surgical/chemical methods to keep ingrown toenails from ruining your summer ever again.


Dr. Danielle Malin of Premier Foot & Ankle Care in Columbia, TN, specializes in treating foot and ankle pain, Achilles tendinitis, warts, nail disorders, hammertoe, bunions, and more. She is a skilled foot and ankle surgeon who offers personalized patient care through her full-service office. Dr. Malin is unique among local podiatric specialists in that she makes house calls so that she can best care for her diverse patient base. Premier Foot & Ankle care treats both adult and pediatric patients. A staff physician at Maury regional, Dr. Malin is board certified by the American Board of Foot & Ankle Surgery.


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