I Needs a Toe Truck

I woke up this morning with a really painful ingrown toenail. I get them infrequently and have always been able to relieve the pressure and clean up the infection easily.
This one really hurts and I don’t think my regular technique is going to work this time.

I tried Google. Big mistake… Image results…disturbing. :eek:

This remedymight be the one that I have to go with.

(no blood or puss in link)

Oh yah, and Youtube is only a bit more helpful.

Ewww. Why did I google Ingrown Toenail?!?

I used to get one on my right big toe. It was somehow enjoyable to remove and cut the nail, despite the pain and blood. Although, mine was never as bad as some of those images I just saw! Gah!

longPath: hope you feel better.

I use the sanding barrel on my Dremel to take some of the camber out of my big toe nail every month or so. It works wonders in preventing horrible miserable ingrown nails.

It’s much less effective if I forget and wait till I feel the pain though, pretty much only a preventative. I always hate how you can go perfectly fine all day, then the slightest random little bump of the toe turns into sheer agony for days, that won’t go away at all. Come on nervous system, give me a bit of a yellow light on this won’t you?

What’s your regular method, longPath?

I used to get them. Wanna know my method? I’m going to tell you anyway!

Pull the skin away from Mr. Ingrown Toenail. Get the file from fingernail clippers and gently wedge it between Mr. Toenail and the skin below. Already this takes the pressure off. Then wedge a bit of cotton under there and take out the file. Now Mr. Toenail rests on the cotton, up away from your skin. Then leave it there until Mr. Toenail grows long enough to stop digging, then just keep him long enough that he can’t burrow in again.

I dunno. This worked so well for me that I just had to tell someone. But it sounds like yours are more hardcore. What is your method?

I’m not aware of any problem until an absess develops. It gets tender, swollen and red. Today, I could barely walk which is much worse than usual.

I pull back the lateral nail fold exposing as much of the offending nail as possible and clean the area with hydrogen peroxide. If the puss sac doesn’t rupture from the pressure, I will prod it with a sterile needle. Relief is almost immediate. After flushing the site again with h.p. I soak my foot for a while.

It can be many months before another episode so I’ve never sought medical attention although I may have to eventually.

Don’t try this at home, kids!

Well, I’ve told stories here before about my Grandfather. About as tough as they come, he was and just hated to spend money on a doctor.

Being a glass half full kinda guy, he reviewed the situation and decided that since he couldn’t control how much toenail he had, he’d just have to reduce the volume of toe. So he heated up his soldering iron, and burned* away the extra flesh that was growing up over his toenail. It had to heal up and be re-burned two or three times before it finally stayed flat, but he said the long-term relief was more than worth the short term pain.

Not the recommended treatment mind you, just sharing. . .

  • I think a Doctor would call this cauterizing

I have heard of an official procedure something like that. Something like cauterizing the cuticle so the edges no longer grow nail and the width shrinks.

I still have a 150 watt “American Beauty” iron that would be great for this.
mmm… perhaps not.
While searching for alternative remedies which may be more permanent, I discovered a reference to Phenol Toenail Ablation

Something about this guy’s blog set off my “Rule 34” alarms but I guess it’s for real. Who knew?

Wolfman what do you mean, “take some of the camber out”? Are you shaping the edge of the nail?

Well in my case the problem comes because my big toe nail is really thick and really curved, so the edges dig in deep. But if I thin the top, especially in the middle it gets a lot more flexible and naturally relaxes and gets flatter so the edges grow over the side of the toe, rather than trying to grow through it.

My guess is flatten the nail where it meets the skin to reduce the issue of the nail curling under.

What I would do was to peel the nail up at the corner and trim it off (very painful). I’d have to keep at it, but always enjoyed the experience in a weird way, like plucking an ingrown hair.

Eventually, the issue just went away. I have no idea why.

How does one wake up with an ingrown toenail? It must have grown in over time. As the nail starts to go into the toe, the owner of the toe should pry it up and keep the area under the front clear of skin so it can grow correctly. And never cut nails so short that they tend to grow in.

I have had many damaged toenails, but not ingrown. When the toenail is red and damaged, it is inflamed. I know ultimately that toenail is gone and will be replaced by one underneath. It may take a year. When I feel pressure from that inflammation, I drill a small hole in the middle to relieve the pressure. You can do this with a power drill being very slow and careful. You can also take a small drill and twist it with your fingers until it penetrates the nail. This allows more control. There is only a little pain when you reach the bottom. With the pressure relieved and free to grow in front, the toe will resolve itself over a very long time.

PS. Hot soaking is probably helpful too.

Here you go.

If you suffer from chronic ingrown toenails, I HIGHLY recommend getting them taken care of by a podiatrist. They will cut away a portion of the side of the nail and cauterize it at the bed so it doesn’t grow back.

It’s a crappy procedure and recovery is awkward but honestly I consider it one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself.

My podiatrist told me that normally it’s an elective procedure, but if you have it done when the area is infected it will most likely be covered by insurance.

Thanks for challenging me on this,** Al Bundy**!

In fact, I probably don’t have an ingrown toenail. I think what happened was I stubbed my toe several days ago ( I seem to recall) and maybe drove the nail into my toe thereby making a good place for cooties to grow.

That would explain why after I clean it up, it goes away. If it were a real I.T. I think it would require more serious attention.

Ignorance fought! Thanks!