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Thread: ingrown toenail?

  1. #1
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    ingrown toenail?

    I guess as we old farts get older, our toenails get funky. I've developed horrible pain on the end and side of my one big toe. It's excruciatingly painful. DH tried to cut into the corner of the nail, and I just couldn't stand it.
    I've been soaking the foot in epsom salt and really hot water several times a day for awhile and putting on a bandaid with antibiotic ointment, but there's no change whatsoever.
    I don't think it's gout, but my uric acid has always been a little high.
    I guess the only answer is a podiatrist who will cut that side of the nail out (with anesthetic, first!)
    Anyone have some home remedies that might help this without "surgery"?

    Yep, I've got old fart feet now.

  2. #2
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
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    Ouch...I know the pain. I get ingrown toenails. My mom got so fed up with ingrowns that the last time she ended up having her large toenails removed! That's too drastic for me I love summer sandals. I do the epsom salt soaks and then do apple cider soaks. I have to let mine grow a bit then I get brave do a little cutting and pull out the ingrown part. What relief when it's over. I did go to the podiatrist once and really paid attention to what he was doing.
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

  3. #3
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    Thanks Float On. I think when the podiatrist did my DD's, he removed about 1/8th" on one side, so it wouldn't grow back. Did yours do something like that?
    I can walk on mine with no pain, I just can't touch it without excrutiating pain. I can't imagine anyone messing with it with numbing it first. Really painful.
    What do the soaks do for you? I guess I thought I had an abcess and it would come to the surface, but I don't think there's one in there. Just pain. Did the top of your toe
    hurt bad too?

  4. #4
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CathyA View Post
    Thanks Float On. I think when the podiatrist did my DD's, he removed about 1/8th" on one side, so it wouldn't grow back. Did yours do something like that?
    I can walk on mine with no pain, I just can't touch it without excrutiating pain. I can't imagine anyone messing with it with numbing it first. Really painful.
    What do the soaks do for you? I guess I thought I had an abcess and it would come to the surface, but I don't think there's one in there. Just pain. Did the top of your toe
    hurt bad too?
    When I went to the podiatrist he cut down the side but left it where it would grow back naturally (said something about I had too pretty of feet to want to mess up the natural lines of my nail beds - which might be why I never went back to him). He said if I came back we'd make it more permanent. To me the epson salt was pain relief and I'm not sure about the apple cider but I watched a lot of youtube videos and it was suggested. Tennis shoes were very painful because of hitting the top of toe and the side. I took a lot of ibuprophen (RX strength) plus some numbing gel I acquired before doing the cutting and pulling but to be honest the relief was so fast it was worth it (I naturally have a pretty high pain tolerance - we're talking no drugs during labor and I've even had a filling done without numbing shots).
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

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    Who knew I would share these details with complete strangers, but here it goes. I buy a animal ointment called Corona from Rural King. It seams like it draws things out. (never put it on poison ive rash) I pack the corner of my big toes with it for a couple of days and then go after it my self with a pair of toe nail clipers. Not pleasent, but I haven't been to the foot doctor yet. Many times I will put it on a splinter and cover with a bandade. The next day the splinter will be in the bandade. And I use it on my anamils too. Hope one way or another you feel better.
    https://www.amazon.com/Corona-Ointme.../dp/B000HHO7VE

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    In the middle of the toenail, cut a deep wide V. It lifts the pressure on the toenail corners. If you have been trimming your toenails and missed that outside edge, you now have "spikes". Start soaking in epsom salts twice/day and wait a few days for that pressure to let up before you go to the next step.

    If you have a plier grip type nail cutter (I call them old fashioned as these days they are hard to find), you can cut straight over to the edge and then using a tweezer pull the entire thing out downward bringing that spike out of the tissue. You need to be certain you got all the way to the nail edge though. Then soak in epsom salts twice/day for a week to be sure it stays clean.

    I had mine done surgically at age 13. The spikes were so long they would have soon come out the end of my toes. For decades I cut that V into my nails to prevent it from happening again. I don't trim the nails unless I can fully visualize that outside edge. I've never had the return of this problem.

  7. #7
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    Well, about a month ago I found a podiatrist who had reasonable reviews (with a few horrible ones).......and he cut out the one side of my toenail. You know......I never had a lot of pain with the ingrown toenail. Plus, I always wondered if it was something else...
    I had absolutely no pain for days afterwards.......although it continued to be very red and swollen and had a little drainage, but not much. For 3 weeks every day I soaked it in Epsom salt and wore a bandaid on it with the gel they sold me. I guess antibiotic ointment can prevent drainage....which you want. The doc I saw initially was on vacation, so I saw another podiatrist. She looked at it and said it looked great, that I didn't need to soak it or wear a bandaid anymore. I always wear sockes and shoes all day afterwards, which I've done forever. It's been a week and now it's very swollen and red and has bled a bit and started hurting. DH says I need anitibiotics, but I've read a lot that this pain can last awhile. Of course I don't want to get septic, so I'll start soaking again and use a bandaid. And I don't want to take antibiotics, since they really mess up my G.I. tract for a long time. I'll call them again next week, but dang.........this has already cost at least $600, and every time I go back it's more.

    I'm thinking maybe of getting a second opinion? I have to say when I saw this other podiatrist in a different room, the room was disgusting!! Who's knows what has dripped on the floor in several places and was old and dark and never cleaned up. The whole floor was disgusting. Should I give them a second chance? The original doc seemed reasonable, but something's not right here. But I have read that many people (especially older ones), it takes a long time to heal. But it seems like it shouldn't get worse. I'm tempted to get a second opinion.

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    Still saying Corona. https://www.amazon.com/Corona-Ointme.../dp/B000HHO7VE I had a situation splitting wood. Got wood deep into my knuckle. Didn't even know it was there. It was sore, so I kept putting ointment on it. A week later when I thought I was pulling a scab, turns out it was a good sized piece of wood. Afew weeks later, still have tiny specks of wood comming out and its finally healing. Had to buy a new wedding ring cause the old one won't fit. This stuff is amazing.

  9. #9
    Senior Member CathyA's Avatar
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    Thanks Baldilocks.......I'll check that out.

  10. #10
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    cathy, start by cutting a deep V in the center of the nail taking the point of the V to the edge of the nailbed. Continue to soak in epsom salts twice daily. After the second soaking, while your tissue is still moist and the nail is still pliable....

    Take a largish piece of a cotton ball. With a toothpick gently push it under the nail near the edge and toward the edge. It will lift that edge. in the AM, pull that cotton out and soak again.

    Now the trick: You need a good sharp pointed clipper-the handgrip style. Go halfway down that V, and gently "drive" that clipper point toward the edge of the nail. Continue toward the outside until you feel it stop. Clip the nail firmly. Leave it. With a tweezer, grasp the nail firmly at the base of the cut. Pull the nail gently towards the center of your nail such that if there is a long spike on the outside edge it will gently come out.

    Yes, I've had to do this. it does work. Be slow and firm. Now, continue with this V in your nail weekly as well as the nightly cotton under the nail. Do this until you can see that corner of the nail towards the end of your toe as if you'd done a standard nail trim/pedi.

    Nails grow about 1/4" per month so 6 weeks or so should do it! (I went through this when I was 13-not just old farts).

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