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[Unguis incarnatus-conservative or operative treatment? A practical treatment algorithm].

Unguis incarnatus, an ingrown toenail, is a common condition in primary care, which is encountered by various medical professions. Inconsistent conservative treatment and nonindicated surgical treatment often result in complications and recurrence of the disease. Patients must be thoroughly informed about the complexity of the nail organ. This is a prerequisite to prevent trivialization of the disease and to achieve appropriate patient compliance for treatment. In this article a practical diagnostic and treatment algorithm for unguis incarnatus is presented. In mild cases of acute unguis incarnatus a consistent conservative treatment is the first-line strategy showing promising results. In cases of moderate to severe forms of acute unguis incarnatus, surgical procedures that preserve the nail matrix should be applied. For cases of chronic unguis incarnatus without an acute infection, elective partial matrixectomy can be indicated. Prior to any surgical intervention, detailed informed consent must be obtained from the patients.

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