I need some major help. I have an ingrown toenail that seems to be too far grown into the side of my toe. There is a noticeable bump on the side of my toe that hurts really bad. All methods that I have seen posted do not seem to be working.
Is there anything that I might be able to try from home without going to the Emergency Room and having them dig the toenail out? I have been there once and it was expensive with insurance and I currently do not have that. Thanks.
Zachary from Los Angeles
Best go see a podiatrist. I was married to one, and they are the only medical practitioner who seems to know how to take care of them. Sometimes they will extract the entire edge, if the the ingrowing is chronic (which occurs if the nail has become deformed, or the flesh is chronically inflamed). That should take care of it permanently. The toenail will look perfectly normal unless the proud flesh has created a permanent bump. In any case, it's a whole lot better than recurring suffering. That can become desperately painful. I know. Sometimes all they have to do is create a groove which the growing toenail then follows. They might do this by packing the edge with a bit of cotton until the nail grows out.
But if the nail has a fungal infection, it needs to be treated with an antifungal. Believe it or not, Vicks VapoRub has become the (home) remedy of choice for fungus nails. See Dr. Gott's column.
I myself have to occasionally treat a stubborn deformed nail, and I have found that an infection can be treated with a Domeboro soaks, and Vicks dressings. But you have to be sure that you get the offending nail "spike" that is penetrating the flesh out of the way. If you can't get to it yourself, then be sure to see a podiatrist.
I follow with the Domeboro soaks. The directions on the package say to throw out the soak solution, but we never did, and one can use it over and over again until the problem clears. (I have even taken a wash basin with me in the car to put my foot in while traveling.) Domeboro solution is a wonderful treatment to have at home for any kinds of infected skin, either wet dressings or soaking. It just draws out the infection. (01/16/2009)
I believe the product called OutGrow is now called NailCain. It works fantastically. (01/16/2009)
Get rid of the problem once and for all and you will never have to think about a remedy again. See a podiatrist that is willing to remove both sides of the toenail(a very narrow piece on each side). This is done with a laser in the Dr's office. Your nail will look a little bit narrower, but you can hardly even notice. Do not let the doctor remove the toenail. This hurts like crazy, and it will grow back. You will probably have more ingrown toenails and here you go again with the same old problem. Only do it if they are willing to do the laser and can assure you that it is a permanent fix.
My Dr. said there is only a very slim chance that it would grow into the side of my toe again, but if it did he would redo it for me. It never has caused me a problem. Anything else you do is not worth the pain, but this is. Get both feet done at the same time if you even think there is a possibility it will happen to the toe on the other foot. I had it done about 10 years ago and could kick myself for suffering off and on for all those years. Yes, many of these remedies are good, but only temporary. This is one of the best things I have done for myself. You will not regret it. (08/03/2009)
By Tiny Tina
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