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Chemical Matrixectomy for Ingrown Toenails

Is There an Evidence Basis to Guide Therapy?

Eric H. Espensen Submitted during first-year residency, Department of Surgery, Podiatry Section, Southern Arizona Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Tucson.

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Brent P. Nixon Chief, Department of Surgery, Podiatry Section, Southern Arizona Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Tucson.

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David G. Armstrong Director of Research and Education, Department of Surgery, Podiatry Section, Southern Arizona Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Tucson.

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Chemical matrixectomy for ingrown toenails is one of the most common surgical procedures performed on the foot. The procedure was first described in 1945 by Otto Boll, who discussed the use of phenol to correct ingrown toenails. In the years that followed, many variations of technique and method have been described. This article reviews the pertinent literature detailing chemical matrixectomies and advocates the use of an evidence basis for care. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 92(5): 287-295, 2002)