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J R Soc Med. 1986 June; 79(6): 339–340.
PMCID: PMC1290344

Conservative outpatient management of ingrowing toenails.


Twenty-five patients with ingrowing toenails were treated conservatively by inserting cotton wool under the ingrowing nail edge. Seventy-nine percent were relieved of their symptoms after follow up for a mean of 23.7 weeks. Thirty-six percent had a history of previous surgery to the nail, 75% of whom had a good or excellent result. Although conservative management was first described in the eighteenth century and has been reported sporadically since, only a few doctors treat their patients in this way. There is, however, a distinct place for this highly effective, low cost method as the initial treatment of these patients without the need for hospital referral.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Hendricks WM. Congenital ingrown toenails. Cutis. 1979 Oct;24(4):393–394. [PubMed]
  • Cameron PF. Ingrowing toenails: an evaluation of two treatments. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1981 Sep 26;283(6295):821–822. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Lapidus P. The ingrown toenail. Bull Hosp Joint Dis. 1972 Oct;33(2):181–192. [PubMed]
  • Miller SS. Ingrowing toenails. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985 Jul 13;291(6488):91–92. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Palmer BV, Jones A. Ingrowing toenails: the results of treatment. Br J Surg. 1979 Aug;66(8):575–576. [PubMed]
  • Murray WR, Bedi BS. The surgical management of ingrowing toenail. Br J Surg. 1975 May;62(5):409–412. [PubMed]
  • Gabriel SS, Dallos V, Stevenson DL. The ingrowing toenail: a modified segmental matrix excision operation. Br J Surg. 1979 Apr;66(4):285–286. [PubMed]
  • Sonnex TS, Dawber RP. Treatment of ingrowing toenails with liquid nitrogen spray cryotherapy. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985 Jul 20;291(6489):173–175. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Murray WR. Onychocryptosis: principles of non-operative and operative care. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1979 Jul-Aug;(142):96–102. [PubMed]

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