In-Grown Toenails and What To Do About It

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You have an in-grown toenail. How did it happen, and why? In-grown toenails happen for a variety of reasons. You cut them too short, the shoes you wear everyday are too tight, or you have a fungus and ect. At any rate, your toe hurts; possibly your whole foot hurts and you want something
done now! Any toe can have an in-grown nail, but it usually happens with the big toe. It’s most common in adults, but can also effect children too.

There’s a simple but slightly hurtful way, but it has to be done. Soak your foot in warm to hot water, as you can stand a couple times a day for about 20 minutes to a half-hour and dry it off. Get a tiny sliver of cotton; roll it between your fingers to get it to look like almost 2 threads together. or dental floss works too… and try to pull up on the toenail just enough until you can get the cotton under the side of the nail that hurts. Cover with a Band-Aid if you wish. Have plenty of pain reliever on hand too. Then as much as you can, go barefoot or sock-footed until the toe feels better. This could be a week or so. If it is too bad, consult a Dr. If it’s not looked after, infection can seep in or you can develop an abscess, which then needs surgery to remove.

The reason for the pain, is that the toenail is actually growing into the skin! The cotton will lift the nail just enough so it can grow above the skin like it should.

The proper way to cut the toenails is straight across, even with the toe itself. (of course, be careful not to cut the toe!) If you cut the sides too short… you will develop an in-grown toenail. You should be able to get a fingernail under the sides of the toenails. Shoes should be wide enough for the feet to be flat as you walk without any discomfort or squeezing. And long enough that your big toe is not right at the edge of the top of the shoe.

If surgery is needed, the Dr will first numb the toe, and then he/she will cut along the side of the toe and pull out the part of the nail that grew into the skin. Then he will give a small electrical charge or liquid to the exposed part of the nail bed. This keeps the nail from growing
into the skin again., this is called: ablation. Not everybody needs this, your Dr will know if it needs it or not.


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