Subungual exostosis is an uncommon medical condition characterized by a bony growth beneath the nail of fingers and toes. It typically affects adolescents, children, and young adults; however, it can also affect other age groups. Although painless in some cases, this abnormality may cause discomfort from pressure on surrounding skin or nails in others. It can also be an uncomfortable condition that affects both physical appearance and comfort levels. Various factors such as genetics, environmental conditions, and trauma can be attributed to its development; however, there is no apparent source.
Subungual exostosis can vary in size and location, so treatment options must be tailored to suit the individual. If the growth causes no pain or discomfort, people may choose not to have it surgically removed. However, those who are affected aesthetically or physically can benefit from surgical removal. This procedure typically involves shaving away part of the exostosis before cutting off any further residue with a scalpel. The bleeding vessels are then cauterized for safety purposes and wound closure. After completing this process, a bandage will need to be applied to protect against infection until healing has taken place. In addition to surgical removal, there are other treatments available, including cryotherapy (freezing), curettage (scraping), and laser therapy (burning). Some people may also benefit from orthotics or padding around the affected nail to reduce pressure and prevent further irritation.
It can be an uncomfortable condition that affects both physical appearance and comfort levels; however, various treatment options can help reduce any associated pain or discomfort and restore normal function to the digit affected by this condition.