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The Treatment of Ingrown Nail: Chemical Matricectomy With Phenol Versus Aesthetic Reconstruction. A Single Blinded Randomized Clinical Trial.

BACKGROUND: In onychocryptosis surgery, incisional and non-incisional matricectomy is indicated according to the stage. The chemical matricectomy with 88% phenol solution is the gold standard and a wedge resection is indicated for more advanced stages. The aesthetic reconstruction has the advantages of the incisional procedure without eponychium incisions and an effectiveness similar to the chemical matricectomy with phenol.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the recurrence and the healing time between the chemical matricectomy with phenol and the aesthetic reconstruction.

METHODS: A comparative, prospective, parallel, randomized, and one-blinded clinical trial was registered with the European Clinical Trials Database (EudraCT) with identification number 2019-001294-80. Thrity-four patients (56 feet) with 112 onychocryptosis were randomized in two groups. Thirty-six were treated with chemical matricectomy with phenol and 76 with aesthetic reconstruction. Each patient was blind to the surgical procedure assigned by the investigator. The primary outcome measurements were healing time and recurrence. The secondary outcome measurements were post-surgical bleeding, pain, inflammation, and infection rate.

RESULTS: The aesthetic reconstruction procedure presents a shorter healing time (8.2 ± 1.4 days vs. 21.3 ± 3.1 days; p < 0.001) with a similar recurrence rate ( p = 0.98). Post-operatory bleeding, pain, inflammation, and the infection rate did not show significant differences ( p > 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS: The aesthetic reconstruction presents a shorter healing time, favoring the patients' recuperation, with a recurrence similar to the chemical matricectomy with 88% phenol solution.

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