Table of Content


Spring 2003, Vol. 11 No. 1

H.K. Dermatol. Venereol. Bull. (2003) 11, 16-18

Pearls in Dermatology

How I treat ingrowing toenails

WYM Tang 鄧旭明

Treatments commonly carried out by physicians for ingrowing toenails such as cotton wool pledget insertion, topical antiseptics and antibiotics, and nail extraction produce improvement only in mild cases and may be associated with high recurrences. More radical treatment would require injection anaesthesia and surgical skills with subsequent higher complication rates. The use of a self-fabricated flexible plastic tube as a splint for treatment of ingrowing toenail is a simple, safe, non-traumatic, in-office procedure suitable as first line treatment for most cases. A splint fabricated from a suction catheter is inserted along the lateral nail fold to achieve nail plate skirting via a longitudinally split of the splint. The position of the splint is then secured by suturing. Pain relief is rapid and the splint can be left for a maximum of eight weeks until inflammation has subsided and normal nail plate growth ensured.