Ingrown toenails are often caused by excessive pressure due to physical activity or footwear that fits too tightly on the toes. When you can narrow down the cause of your ingrown toenail to things like this, preventing them from recurring is more simple. However, sometimes taking precautions like this isn’t enough to prevent an ingrown from coming back. When ingrown toenails are a chronic condition, your podiatrist may want to use phenol to prevent it from reforming.

Phenol is useful for treating recurring ingrown toenails because it stops the nail from growing. When an ingrown toenail continues to form in the same space after removal by a podiatrist, often the only way to stop it from forming is to stop all nail growth completely. Your podiatrist will perform the ingrown toenail removal surgery as normal, and then apply the phenol to the part of the nail they removed. The phenol is applied for anywhere up to a few minutes and is usually rubbed into the part of the toe where the nail grows from.

This process, and all treatments for ingrown toenails, should only be done by a licensed podiatrist. Using phenol to cauterize an ingrown toenail isn’t a surefire way of preventing the ingrown from forming again because there is always a chance the nail will start to grow again. However, when performed by an experienced podiatrist, chemical cauterization can be very helpful in treating chronic ingrown toenails. 

If you have an ingrown toenail that keeps reforming in the same place, you should discuss this with a licensed podiatrist. They will be able to remove the nail and discuss steps you can take to prevent a recurrence, whether that is phenol cauterization or buying shoes with wide toes. To schedule your consultation with a podiatrist, give us a call at (424)-299-4627 or visit our website for more information.