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kenmc's avatar

What is your best method for dealing with ingrown toe nails?

Asked by kenmc (11763points) April 3rd, 2010

I have very bad ingrown toe nails right now. What is the best way to take them out? How about the method with the least amount of pain? These bad boys hurt something fierce.

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17 Answers

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Go to a nail salon and let the pro’s make it better for you. I convinced my mother to do this a few years back and it only took a few months for the nails to grow better. We see men there all the time getting pedicures. If your feet hurt then your whole body hurts so $20. a month is pretty worthwhile preventative maintenance if you ask me.

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Hexr's avatar

When I had them, my doctor removed them. He apparently wasn’t up to date on his anesthesia skills, but hopefully you wouldn’t suffer the same fate. Yes it was quite traumatic and painful. But my nails are weird looking now, they grow in three pieces now (the big toes, each side was infected and removed).

iam2smart99037's avatar

First thing I did was start buying all my shoes in wide sizes. That basically eliminated the problem for me. Maybe if I drop something on my foot or jam my toe it gets ingrown again, but that’s very, very rare. When I do get one, I use a needle and a wisp of cotton from a cotton ball. You use the needle to gently push the cotton under the nail and pad the area where the edge of the nail is digging in. Keep doing that for a week or so and you’ll be good as new.

Freedom_Issues's avatar

Letting them grow out, and correcting themselves on their own.

MrGV's avatar


DarkScribe's avatar

Really simple. File them flat – full length – across the centre raised portion of the nail. It makes the centre paper thin and unable to apply downward pressure. Within a day or so the problem disappears.

FutureMemory's avatar

Twenty years ago both of my big toes were terribly ingrown (oozing pus, extremely painful..). The local podiatrist performed surgery, and the only pain I felt was the initial anesthetic he sprayed on my feet. Part of the procedure involved “killing” the nails ability to grow more than a certain width, which permanently solved the problem. (One strange thing about it was the doc asked me if I wanted him to simply kill the nails ability to grow back at all, which would have left me nail-less for the rest of my life. I declined)

john65pennington's avatar

One morning, i was attempting to served a felony warrant on this subject. i was at his mothers house. she first denied subject was there, but later he came out of a closet and surrendered. as i talked to the subjects mother, (she had on flip flops), our conversation somehow came around to toenails. this lady showed me her toes. she did not have one single toenail. she stated to me, that her toenails became really infected and had to be removed. i assumed she was talking about athletes foot fungus. anyway, it was odd to see a person with no toenails, at all.

nebule's avatar

…and once they’re sorted you should always cut straight across the nail…don’t shape them…

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I only had the problem once, after cutting them too short. I pried up the edge to the nail with the tip of a nail file (not exactly painless). That forced the nail to grow out back out. Cutting them as @lynneblundell describes should prevent reoccurrance.

zophu's avatar

I had an ingrown toenail on my left big toe that developed from an accident I had as a kid, big rock fell on my foot. A couple of years ago, I had a foot doctor take care of it. He cut off the extra nail and killed the problem roots with acid or something. There haven’t been any problems since.

This is probably the best method, and the method with the least amount of pain. I got a couple of needles in my toe, but it was nothing. And I couldn’t feel anything but uncomfortable pressure while he ripped things out and jammed acid-coated-cuetips up my nail bed. By the time the numbing wore off, a little whiskey took care of any pain. I was on my feet in three days.

deni's avatar

You should try what @DarkScribe said because I get them from time to time and if that works it’d be a miracle! What I do before mine get really bad but I know they’re getting there, is just dig into the corner of the nail where it hurts and cut it at like a 45 degree angle. It hurts kinda bad at the time but its instant relief. do it yo.

mollypop51797's avatar

Go to the nail salon and have them fix it up for you (or go to a foot doctor. And get these away before they get infected (my friend had this happen to her and it is PAINFUL! She had to wear a ball of meshy cloth on her toe for a few weeks) Anyways, get it fixed and fast!

toomuchcoffee911's avatar

I feel your pain, bro. I had to deal with the mistake I made shaping my toenails. Fortunately it wasn’t an extreme case and only hurt for a few days, but when it did, it hurt. I found giving my foot a warm, soapy soak helped.

Strauss's avatar

When I was in 7th grade, my feet went through a growing spurt and could not fit in a pair of shoes for more than 3 months. This caused an ingrown toenail that became infected, and the doctor cut along the edge that was ingrown. Now, instead of just cleaning my nails at the end of the toe, I also have to clean under the nail along the edge of the nail, all the way down to the quick.

zophu's avatar

@Yetanotheruser I think the methods have improved or something. My treated ingrown is easy to clean. It’s just like a thinner version of a normal toenail.

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