Background: Nail surgery can be performed in an office-based dermatology practice with a limited amount of specialized equipment and training. Several excellent reviews have been published in recent years that detail the techniques of nail surgery for both the novice and the experienced practitioner. Objective: In this article recent developments in nail surgery are discussed. Topics that are treated include the general principles of nail surgery, including epidemiologic issues, studies of nail anatomy, instrumentation, and anesthesia. The reconstruction of injuries and congenital defects involving the nail is explained, and the role of the hand surgeon clarified. Appropriate removal of tumours and cysts is considered, with special attention to the management of malignant lesions. The controversy regarding more or less conservative management of melanonychia striata is addressed, and the need for early diagnosis of subungual melanoma is emphasized. Other topics are surgical management of ingrown nails and onychomycosis. Newer areas of nail surgery, such as laser surgery of the nail, psychodermatology of the nail, and the role of primary care physicians in simple nail surgery are also examined.
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