The Effectiveness of Matrix Cauterization With Bichloracetic Acid in the Treatment of Ingrown Toenails

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Chemical matricectomy is performed mainly by 2 agents, phenol and sodium hydroxide. Chemical matricectomy with phenol has a low recurrence rate and good cosmetic results, but it produces extensive tissue destruction and can result in drainage and a delayed healing time. These adverse effects have brought forward the use of chemical agents such as sodium hydroxide and trichloroacetic acid for matricectomy.


This prospective study aimed mainly to evaluate the efficacy of partial nail avulsion and selective chemical cauterization of the matrix using 90% bichloracetic acid (BCA) in the treatment of the ingrown nails.


A total of 30 patients with 58 ingrown toenail edges were included in this study. All of the patients underwent chemical matricectomy with 90% BCA after partial nail avulsion. Adverse effects such as postoperative pain and drainage were minimal in most of the patients.


One patient who underwent matricectomy had recurrence in a single nail edge (1.8%) at the 12th month of the follow-up. No recurrence was observed in 29 patients during mean follow-up period. This was considered to be statistically significant (p < .001).


This is the first study to use BCA for the treatment of ingrown toenail. Partial nail avulsion followed by BCA matricectomy is a safe, simple, and effective method with low rates of postoperative morbidity and high rates of success. Therefore, partial nail avulsion and BCA matricectomy can be used as an alternative treatment method for the treatment of ingrown toenails.

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