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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Irregular nail growth in Diabetics

I am Nisha( name changed). My father s nail on his right toe is growing irregularly & the nails edge corner is causing damage to the flesh. Recently the nail was removed through surgical method . but now again the same grew and the fles was hurt & became infected.(He is a diabetic) Now my query is whether the nail can be removed permanently with out giving any chance for further growth any more by laser method or some thing like that.
Sun, 17 Apr 2011
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
It is suggested to opine a general surgeon, for the above complaints and procedure being performed in the controlled diabetes (Sugar). if required.

Repeated infections- It is a sign of poorly controlled diabetes.
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mahavir's  Response
Thanks for the query. Yes there are methods for Permanent Nail Removal. He may be benefitted by partial toe nail removal also. It should be properly maintained and trimmed regularly. Since the nail is a natural protector of toes it should better be retained especailly in Diabetics. We suggest you to consult a General Surgeon for examination. He can tell you if it is needed to remove the entire nail along the root with matrix. Usually complete removal of the nail plate is a common solution for fungal infections and ingrown nails. During this procedure, the nail plate is removed and the nail matrix is destroyed by one of three methods: 1) Phenol - An acidic chemical called phenol is applied only to the nail matrix. This destroys the growth cells of the nail. 2) Surgical removal - The nail matrix and bed are cut away. Stitches are only occasionally necessary. 3) Laser - A form of burning in which laser heat is focused on the matrix cells. Since he is a diabetic, an extra care is taken for the foot. The diabetics have less sensations hence it is advised to clean the feet with warm water and soap daily. The cuts, abrasion, ulcers etc are to be watched for and immediately treated. There is a high chance of bacterial and fungal infections in such individuals. Proper shoe and yearly once doctor examinations are very important. We hope this information helps you.
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