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Treatments

  • Nail Pain
  • Fungal Infections
  • Infections
  • Ingrown Nail
  • Cysts
  • Skin Cancer

Nail Plate Removal

in Fargo, North Dakota

There are some cases where it can be beneficial to remove the whole nail (or part of it) from a finger or toe. If this is the case, then a board certified dermatologist can remove the nail using precise and effective techniques, sometimes called nail plate removal.

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What is Nail Plate Removal?

Nail plate removal is a surgery where a nail from the finger or toe is removed because it’s infected, painful, ingrown, or shows certain symptoms. This can sometimes be the best course of treatment if you regularly experience symptoms or your anatomy makes it difficult to treat using other methods. In some cases, it can be part of skin cancer treatment or require a nail bed biopsy before removal.

What Causes Nail Plate Complications?

The most common nail complications are infections, usually because of fungus or a small cut that is exposed to bacteria. Often, these infections go away on their own and don’t cause symptoms. However, they can become serious or recurrent, requiring treatment. Additionally, skin cancer can develop underneath a nail, requiring the nail to be removed so that the cancerous cells can be addressed. Some cysts can also require a nail plate removal.

How is Nail Plate Removal Performed?

Nail plate removal can be performed by Dr. Ness at our Fargo office. It begins with an anesthetic applied to the finger or toe so that you’re comfortable throughout the procedure. Dr. Ness then uses surgical tools to loosen the skin around the nail and remove the whole or partial nail from the skin. Once the nail is removed, then the nail matrix can be destroyed if you don’t want the nail to grow back. If you want to skip this step, then your nail will grow back within a few months.

During a nail bed biopsy, the area is numbed so that a specimen can be taken from the nail or skin underneath it. Then, the sample can be viewed under a microscope to get an accurate diagnosis. This can also be completed by Dr. Ness at our Fargo office.

Nail Plate Removal Maintenance

After the surgical session, you’ll receive instructions on how to care for your finger or toe in the days after. This may include gently washing the area and managing bandages so that it remains clean and protected. It’s important to keep the skin moisturized and protected (a layer of petroleum jelly is usually recommended) until the wound heals and the nail begins to grow back. If you opted to have the nail matrix destroyed, then Dr. Ness can recommend the best way to care for the exposed skin in the future. If you’ve been experiencing infections, you may be instructed to use additional products on the area to keep the skin healthy and treated. If you have a cancerous area underneath the nail, Dr. Ness can recommend your best treatment options now that the area is accessible.

Schedule A Consultation

Complications with your nails can be painful and affect your mobility. They can also have a large impact on your health if untreated. During a consultation at our Fargo office, Dr. Ness can discuss your options for biopsy or nail removal. To schedule a consultation, contact us by calling or filling out our online form.

Dr. Rachel Ness Medical

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