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Effect of Curettage After Segmental Phenolization in the Treatment of Onychocryptosis: A Randomized Double-Blind Clinical Trial

Álvarez-Jiménez, Jesús DP1; Córdoba-Fernández, Antonio DP, PhD1; Munuera, Pedro V. DP, PhD1

doi: 10.1111/j.1524-4725.2011.02232.x

Background Segmental phenolization for the treatment of onychocryptosis has a number of disadvantages, resulting from the cauterization of the tissue, including delayed healing and prolonged drainage. Although one may expect excision or curettage of the cauterized tissue after phenolization to benefit the healing process, these simple procedures have not been suitably studied.

Objective To examine the effect of curettage primarily on cicatrization or healing time and secondarily on postoperative bleeding.

Materials and Methods Fifty-one patients (80 feet) with stage I or IIa onychocryptosis according to the classification of Mozena were enrolled in this randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, controlled clinical trial. A total of 137 phenolizations were performed on affected folds of ingrowing hallux nails. Each hallux was randomly assigned to one of two groups (experimental [phenolization with curettage]; control [phenolization alone]).

Results Curettage reduced healing time (7.49 ± 1.76 days vs 12.38 ± 3.01 days; p = .001), increased postoperative bleeding (p < .001), led to lower rates of infection (p = .01), and increased postoperative pain (p = .028).

Conclusion Curettage of the cauterized tissue after segmental phenolization reduces healing time.

1Department of Podiatry, Universidad de Sevilla, Sevilla, Spain

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Jesús Álvarez-Jiménez, DP, Departamento de Podología, Universidad de Sevilla, C/ Avicena, s/n, Sevilla, 41009 Spain, or e-mail:

The authors have indicated no significant interest with commercial supporters.

© 2012 by the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Inc.
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