Ingrown Toenail

HeirHeir Registered User regular
Hey all,

In my nearly 36 years of life I've never had an ingrown toenail...but now I do! So far it's just very red on one side of my big toe and it is very tender to the touch.

Before I decide to burn some money by going to the Dr, does anyone have any recommendations for home remedies? I was thinking about soaking it in an epsom salt bath to soften the nail and then try and pull it up...but not sure if I need to take the nail off entirely or do something to cause some kind of "separation" between the nail and underlying tissue.

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Posts

  • notdroidnotdroid Registered User regular
    I'm not medically trained and can't see the severity of what you have, but as someone who's had ingrown toenails multiple times so far, I would recommend cutting your losses and going to the doctor.

    The first 2 times this has happened to me, I tried getting home remedies and all it led to was having the nail grow in further (leading to an infection in once instance), which only made the procedure to get it removed/recovery more painful. There's also the fact that depending on how you remove the nail, you increase the chance of this becoming a recurring issue (which has been my case).

    bowenTofystedetha5ehrenOrphanePsykomaShadowfireTheBlackWinddestroyah87
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    See a Doc.

    I can't think of a plausible method of getting a nail that has grown into your flesh out that doesn't involve de facto surgery and at that point...

    See a Doc.

  • HeirHeir Registered User regular
    edited May 2016
    notdroid wrote: »
    I'm not medically trained and can't see the severity of what you have, but as someone who's had ingrown toenails multiple times so far, I would recommend cutting your losses and going to the doctor.

    The first 2 times this has happened to me, I tried getting home remedies and all it led to was having the nail grow in further (leading to an infection in once instance), which only made the procedure to get it removed/recovery more painful. There's also the fact that depending on how you remove the nail, you increase the chance of this becoming a recurring issue (which has been my case).

    What is the process like with the doctor? Will it keep me from getting around? I ask because I run a lot and have our first child coming in about a week so hoping it's not going to ground me too much.

    Edit: And I scheduled an appt with my doctor for Wednesday. Thankfully it doesn't hurt too terribly much, but hopefully can get this knocked out before it gets much worse.

    Heir on
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  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited May 2016
    Your toe will probably hurt for a week or so at the most.

    bowen on
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    destroyah87
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Yea, and hurt like keep it bandaged and maybe not run for a week or so. Walking isn't that bad, certainly not enough to avoid doing anything.

    bowen
  • notdroidnotdroid Registered User regular
    edited May 2016
    Heir wrote: »
    notdroid wrote: »
    I'm not medically trained and can't see the severity of what you have, but as someone who's had ingrown toenails multiple times so far, I would recommend cutting your losses and going to the doctor.

    The first 2 times this has happened to me, I tried getting home remedies and all it led to was having the nail grow in further (leading to an infection in once instance), which only made the procedure to get it removed/recovery more painful. There's also the fact that depending on how you remove the nail, you increase the chance of this becoming a recurring issue (which has been my case).

    What is the process like with the doctor? Will it keep me from getting around? I ask because I run a lot and have our first child coming in about a week so hoping it's not going to ground me too much.

    Edit: And I scheduled an appt with my doctor for Wednesday. Thankfully it doesn't hurt too terribly much, but hopefully can get this knocked out before it gets much worse.

    So every time I have been to the doctor this has been the procedure:

    *(Important - show up wearing open toe sandals)

    The doctor will first start by injecting your big toe with a local anesthetic. This usually is done 2 or 3 times on different areas of your toe, and is the most painful part of the process.

    Once your toe is numb, the doctor will grab pliers/cutters (I'm sure there are more specific medical terms for those) and bend out/cut the toenail on the side on which it is ingrown, up to the nail bed. This is slighty uncomfortable but mostly painless as the anesthetic has kicked in. It can be a bit bloody however, so just don't look if you're sensitive to that kind of stuff.

    Your toe will then get bandaged.
    *This is where having sandals comes in handy - forget about putting a sock/shoe over your feet. Your toe should start to hurt again about 30min after the operation, so you may want to cab it or get someone to drive you there and back based on your commute.

    When the anesthetic has worn off, it'll hurt enough so that you won't be able to walk for a little while - either use crutches, or just limp around - that's usually what I do, never had to bother with crutches.

    Limp for 2-4 days

    Able to walk normally afterwards. ~1 week you'll be pretty much recovered.

    Usually, you'll get a prescription for painkillers and antiobiotics. Take the antibiotics as prescribed. Take the painkillers as needed - I've gone through the procedure 5 times so far - longest I've needed them was 3 days, shortest I've needed them was 1 day (day of the surgery). It seems benign, but it can hurt like hell the first few days, especially when you change positions (laying down/sitting/standing) as it can cause the blood to rush away/to the toe.

    As said above, get yourself some sandals to wear.

    Also, it is probably a good idea to do your groceries beforehand.

    NOTE: Obviously if your nail has just started getting ingrown your experience could vary for the better.

    notdroid on
    destroyah87
  • notdroidnotdroid Registered User regular
    notdroid wrote: »
    Heir wrote: »
    notdroid wrote: »
    I'm not medically trained and can't see the severity of what you have, but as someone who's had ingrown toenails multiple times so far, I would recommend cutting your losses and going to the doctor.

    The first 2 times this has happened to me, I tried getting home remedies and all it led to was having the nail grow in further (leading to an infection in once instance), which only made the procedure to get it removed/recovery more painful. There's also the fact that depending on how you remove the nail, you increase the chance of this becoming a recurring issue (which has been my case).

    What is the process like with the doctor? Will it keep me from getting around? I ask because I run a lot and have our first child coming in about a week so hoping it's not going to ground me too much.

    Edit: And I scheduled an appt with my doctor for Wednesday. Thankfully it doesn't hurt too terribly much, but hopefully can get this knocked out before it gets much worse.

    So every time I have been to the doctor this has been the procedure:

    *(Important - show up wearing open toe sandals)

    The doctor will first start by injecting your big toe with a local anesthetic. This usually is done 2 or 3 times on different areas of your toe, and is the most painful part of the process.

    Once your toe is numb, the doctor will grab pliers/cutters (I'm sure there are more specific medical terms for those) and bend out/cut the toenail on the side on which it is ingrown, up to the nail bed. This is slighty uncomfortable but mostly painless as the anesthetic has kicked in.

    Your toe will then get bandaged.
    *This is where having sandals comes in handy - forget about putting a sock/shoe over your feet. Your toe should start to hurt again about 30min after the operation, so you may want to cab it or get someone to drive you there and back based on your commute.

    When the anesthetic has worn off, it'll hurt enough so that you won't be able to walk for a little while - either use crutches, or just limp around - that's usually what I do, never had to bother with crutches.

    Limp for 2-4 days

    Able to walk normally afterwards. ~1 week you'll be pretty much recovered.

    Usually, you'll get a prescription for painkillers and antiobiotics. Take the antibiotics as prescribed. Take the painkillers as needed - I've gone through the procedure 5 times so far - longest I've needed them was 3 days, shortest I've needed them was 1 day (day of the surgery). It seems benign, but it can hurt like hell the first few days, especially when you change positions (laying down/sitting/standing) as it can cause the blood to rush away/to the toe.

    As said above, get yourself some sandals to wear.

    Also, it is probably a good idea to do your groceries beforehand.

    NOTE: Obviously if your nail has just started getting ingrown your experience could vary for the better.

    Also, as far as you wanting to run - what makes you limp is the fact that you can't apply your full weight on your foot - which as I mentioned above for me usually lasts 2-4 days. Once you are comfortable enough, even though you may not be able to run yet, you can easily do stuff like stationary bicycle or elliptical at the gym since it doesn't require you to put much pressure on your toes.

  • dresdenphiledresdenphile Watch out for snakes!Registered User regular
    edited May 2016
    My left toe used to get really badly ingrown on both sides to the point where I couldn't take hacking on it myself anymore. My experience was similar to what notdroid suggested, but my podiatrist also applied some sort of chemical on both sides of my toe that from what I can tell "salted the earth", because it's never been ingrown since (about 10 years now).

    dresdenphile on
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  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    I had them fairly chronically when I was younger. One ingrown toenail once that isn't too bad likely won't mean you need surgery if it's not a recurring problem for you, but the doctor WILL likely pull it themselves which will hurt like hell for all of a second before relief sets in. If it's only on the side and doesn't hurt too badly, if you can get away with wearing loose (or better yet no) shoes most of the time sometimes they resolve themselves after a few days. It's certainly possible to fix minor ones yourself without issue if you're careful and clean, but if the corner is under the skin or it bleeds or oozes when you interact with it it's not worth trying to deal with yourself.

    Not a doctor, this is all based on my experience with them. I did end up having surgery and the surgery sucked and didn't resolve the chronic problem.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    With toenails and your future.

    Don't trim them back too much. Some people trim their toenails in such a way to increase the risk of an ingrown nail. You need to leave some length on that sucker. Trim it even with the tip of your toe, don't cut off so much you have to tug the clipping free from the edges of the nail bed. That just means the nail will have to carve it's way back out.

    They may do nothing for an ingrown. If it's not infected some suggest stuffing a tiny piece of cotton ball under the edge of the nail to keep it out and away from the skin as it grows.

    ceresNightDragonDivideByZeroLocal H Jaydestroyah87
  • OrphaneOrphane A black light In the deep blue seaRegistered User regular
    From personal experience it sounds like you've caught it fairly early.
    You definitely want to avoid it getting any worse though. I'll echo other posters in that if you go to a podiatrist and they have to cut it out that the anaesthesia is the worst part and you might have to shower while avoiding getting the bandaged toe wet for a couple of days. Walking around is still doable after surgery and you should be good to go a week after if nothing out of the ordinary occurs. The wearing sandals to the doctor is definitely good advice.

  • SmokeStacksSmokeStacks The Myth, the Legend, the Bowman, the Shambler FuckerRegistered User regular
    If you do get the thing removed, keep a bandage on when you're in the shower for the first few days.

    You never truly realize exactly how many drops of water hit you right in the big toenail until you don't have one anymore.

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    Fry
  • HeirHeir Registered User regular
    Thanks for all the information all.

    I've never had an ingrown toenail before, but between marathons and lots of mountain hiking, I've lost plenty of toenails over the past decade or so. So I don't think I'll be grossed out, per se, at my Dr pulling it.

    Got an appointment for Wednesday afternoon. Hoping I caught it early enough where my recovery won't be too long. Overall it doesn't both me, not even on a run (just ran 5 miles a bit ago today), just when something touches it.

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  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    I generally cut mine out myself, there is a tool for it for mild ones, but I just googled it to find the tool and just saw a bunch of images of infected toes from using those tools, and now I'm grossed out about it. See a doctor.

    Fry
  • HeirHeir Registered User regular
    Quick update: Doc took a look and said it wasn't bad enough yet to do anything to. Suggested I use advil to keep any swelling down and soak in epsom salt baths to help soften the nail. If it gets worse, then I'll need to go back in for him to cut part of the nail off, but he wants to avoid that if possible.

    The good news is that it hasn't really gotten any worse..in fact I'd say it's a little better than originally. The pain when I touch it is much less than it used to be.

    Thanks for the advice folks. That's what I get for cutting my nail too short.

    camo_sig2.png
  • Yes, and...Yes, and... Registered User regular
    Do the salt baths. It sounds like the toe is not in terrible shape yet, so if you get your soak on for a while every day, you might be able to clear everything up yourself.

    dispatch.oLocal H JayShadowfire
  • Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    Plus it's kinda nice to just soak your feet. I don't get ingrown anymore but still do the salt bath from time to time.

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  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    If it's not very severe, you can sometimes address them by:

    Cutting them off straight as long as you can stand it. IE, you cut the front off very flush.

    Taking baths or doing the epsom salts thing, and then when it's all warm and gross and soft, taking a nail file and removing any dead skin from the crease. So like, if the part of your foot that is rolling over the top of the nail? If any of that is callus or dry skin or anything, trim or file it back. It shouldn't hurt or bleed, if it starts too you've gone too far.

    If you trim it straight and grow it out a little you can then notch a v in the middle and that can help a little too. Fair warning: you will go a little apeshit from it snagging on your sock.

    Yes, and...
  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against the Irish) Registered User regular
    Heir wrote: »
    Quick update: Doc took a look and said it wasn't bad enough yet to do anything to. Suggested I use advil to keep any swelling down and soak in epsom salt baths to help soften the nail. If it gets worse, then I'll need to go back in for him to cut part of the nail off, but he wants to avoid that if possible.

    The good news is that it hasn't really gotten any worse..in fact I'd say it's a little better than originally. The pain when I touch it is much less than it used to be.

    Thanks for the advice folks. That's what I get for cutting my nail too short.
    I was in a similar situation, but my doctor told me that it wasn't in a condition he thought it needed operating on. Soak it in epsom salt, use a little probe he gave me to keep it from digging in, and get straight edge nail clippers and cut them straight (I had a big tendency to go curved).

  • HeirHeir Registered User regular
    Yep, soaking is definitely helping. I can't really cut it straight right now because I cut it so short last time by accident, so I need to let it grow out a bit.

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  • BarrakkethBarrakketh Registered User regular
    I prefer trimming my nails and then filing them (I use a glass/crystal file for this), especially my toes. I've found that it keeps them from flaking (which could sometimes result end having a pull off a section of nail near the edge) and you have a handy tool to prevent your toenails from snagging on your socks...especially if you happen to punt toys that your nephew leaves in the walkway on a frequent basis :P

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  • WezoinWezoin Registered User regular
    Before I got the Vandenbos procedure (highly recommended over other procedures, never a single recurrence using it) I used to remove my own ingrown nails. I had a foot doctor fix it once, realized that paying him to do it when I could do the exact same thing at home was silly.

    Steps Below:
    1. Nail clippers, start the cut at around mid-nail, facing the direction of the 'ingrown' part.
    2. 'Peel' or 'twist' the cut part so that it goes straight to the edge where it is bothering you and disconnects from the main part of the nail (right to the edge until it severs)
    3. Pull the now loose piece of nail downwards (towards your foot)
    4. Enjoy your relief

    The ingrown part will be like a sharp spike, that's why you need to pull it down instead of sideways.

  • notdroidnotdroid Registered User regular
    Wezoin wrote: »
    Before I got the Vandenbos procedure (highly recommended over other procedures, never a single recurrence using it) I used to remove my own ingrown nails. I had a foot doctor fix it once, realized that paying him to do it when I could do the exact same thing at home was silly.

    Steps Below:
    1. Nail clippers, start the cut at around mid-nail, facing the direction of the 'ingrown' part.
    2. 'Peel' or 'twist' the cut part so that it goes straight to the edge where it is bothering you and disconnects from the main part of the nail (right to the edge until it severs)
    3. Pull the now loose piece of nail downwards (towards your foot)
    4. Enjoy your relief

    The ingrown part will be like a sharp spike, that's why you need to pull it down instead of sideways.

    That video is horrifying.

    NightDragonzepherin
  • WezoinWezoin Registered User regular
    notdroid wrote: »
    Wezoin wrote: »
    Before I got the Vandenbos procedure (highly recommended over other procedures, never a single recurrence using it) I used to remove my own ingrown nails. I had a foot doctor fix it once, realized that paying him to do it when I could do the exact same thing at home was silly.

    Steps Below:
    1. Nail clippers, start the cut at around mid-nail, facing the direction of the 'ingrown' part.
    2. 'Peel' or 'twist' the cut part so that it goes straight to the edge where it is bothering you and disconnects from the main part of the nail (right to the edge until it severs)
    3. Pull the now loose piece of nail downwards (towards your foot)
    4. Enjoy your relief

    The ingrown part will be like a sharp spike, that's why you need to pull it down instead of sideways.

    That video is horrifying.

    Yeah, the video is a little scary. One of the before/after pictures that used to be on that site is actually my toes.

    It heals really nicely though and my toe looks perfectly normal now.

  • WiseManTobesWiseManTobes Registered User regular
    One thing you might hear is cutting a V in the toenail, this is a myth and will do nothing but ruin your socks.

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    Shadowfire
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