Solution[s] for ingrown toe nail [IGT] :A TRIVIAL MEDICAL PROBLEM, BUT VERY MUCH BOTHERING, IF YOU GOT THIS!! ציפורן חתרנית    Edit
The following mail below was sent out a few weeks ago and I will discuss this now after I waited to get a few ideas/suggestions from patients and a few doctors. 
 I will copy these mails at the end, of course without names.
See below this mail for my suggestion/solution
This e-mail I sent out:

Ingrown toenail : does anybody of you is at the moment suffering from this condition?
Or in the past?
I would be very happy to know-if so-how you treated this-yourself or your doctor.
etc etc

Now the solution: [From own experience]
For a few months I personally had -for the first time in my life- a very painful ingrown toenail[IGT] with days were I could walk “normally” and days were this was quite difficult.
What I was taught in medical school [see also the letters from patients at the end]………try to put something between the nail and the “flesh”[skin] to relieve the pressure seemed to be a “joke”.
I also advised this to patients in the past but I always felt that this was really not an option as  this manipulation can be very painful and virtually impossible to perform and it also hardly seemed to help.
So the only option was an operation, in most cases.
I tried homeopathy but never found this of any help in these cases.
On of my students -Ada-told me that she heard from a patient a solution which straight away brought relief.
I tried it [and remembered vaguely about reading about this somewhere a long time ago] and amazingly…… or two days later I could walk normally and every symptom of the IGT had gone.
A 2-3 months passed now -and baruch ha-shem-no recurrence.

Solution: cut out in the center[middle] of the nail a small “V” , even a very tiny “V” may be enough.

This was even possible with a very sensitive nail.
Of course after this “happening” I went back to my old surgery books and searched and searched and nobody seemed to suggest this solution.
Then I found in a book I bought many years ago in Israel and which is considered to be a very authoritative standard text book:
Principles of ambulatory medicine[second edition :1986] [Barker,Burton,Zieve] the following about ingrown toenails:

I quote: “There is a popular misconception among many people that cutting a “V” in the center of a toenail will cause the lateral borders to grow toward the center, thereby relieving the ingrown condition.
This belief has no basis in fact……….”and the text carries on.
Well after this experience [and many others] on really wonders how many books just copy one from the other without any personal experience of the writers.
Anyhow I would be happy to hear from any of you with this problem if this tip helped you.
Be well!

Letters form Patients:
[More or less in order I received them]

  • I have suffered from this on and off for many years. At one time I even had the side of the nail destroyed (performed by an orthopaedic surgeon) but eventually it grw back….


  • Dr. De Mesquito,

My son…….and his son(my grandson-16 months old) have ingrown toenails- this is horrible- we cannot cut the baby’s nails without him getting hysterical. Is there a solution for cutting their nails???
 Thanks for this e-mail
Shabbat Shalom!!!!

  • …….. my wife, has suffered for several years from IGT. She had a surgical resection of part of the nail which took care of the problem for about 3 years but now it’s back – there is a swollen and painful area near the upper right corner of her large toe nail – the surgeon now says that he would have to remove the whole nail and he’s not sure it would take care of the problem. for now he recommended soaking the area daily in warm soapy water – this helps slightly but not fully. …….. also wears midrasim which are critical for her feet according to the physical therapist she sees but the surgeon feels that the midrasim are causing more pressure within the shoe on the area of the IGT so he says “get rid of the midrasim”

we would be happy for some kind and helpful advice…

  • What I saw work a few times in the initial stage, is to lift the IGT up  with one of your fingernails, i.e. insert a finger nail between the skin and the IGT and lift the IGT up.. Do this a few times per day

Painfull, but worth it.

  • Dear Dr BDM

I cut with fine scissors the edges of the toe nails that are hurting.I insert the scissor very gently and cut. It helps to wet the nail about 10 minutes before cutting. After cutting , I remove with the tip of the scissors any dirt stuck in the skin fold.After that I apply with cotton or tissue paper some hydrogen peroxide,which will clean dirt remnants and bubble them out,at the same time sterilizing any wound caused by the scissors. That usually resolves the problem.

  • suffered from this problem, in almost all my 20 nails…

i went to a podiatrist and he told me he has a “trick” that can save me from surgery.

he told me to soak my leg in (i think) oxygen water or “savi-or” or something similar, for 10 minutes everyday

afterwards to take some cotton wool and make a short “ptila” from it.

then put this ptila between the nail and the toe. if there is an infection there – add some antibiotic ointment. leave the cotton wool there as long as possible. even go to sleep with it.

you start to feel better in 2 days, and the problem is solved after a week or two.

the idea behind this procedure is to lift the nail so it’l grow in a higher direction – not into the toe.

over the years i got “lazy” and skipped the soaking part (although i understand it helps to soften the nail). i also used my kipa-clamp to push the ptila more and more inside the growing space between the nail and the toe. it hurts! but it brings the solution faster. i did that before going to sleep and in the morning things were already better.

as a medic i’ve treated numerous soldiers this way. they were all doubtful at the beginning, but after 2 days came to say they already feel the relief. 

Dutch:  Alhoewel ik geen ingegroeide nagel heb aan de grote teen is er wel een kalknagel ontstaan.
Aan 1 kant geheel verkleurd en schimmelachtige restjes ertussen.

wat heb ik als  doe het zelver gedaan:

1. elke ochtend en avond wassen en ‘s ochtends inspuiten met Lamisil 1%
   vrij verkrijgbaar.

2. ‘s avonds na het wassen insmeren met een wattenstaafje met Daktarin en verbinden.

Ben een week aan de gang en duidelijk verbeterd. Nagel op de grote teen zit in een uiterst hoekje wel wat los
( bij kalknagels is dat toch het grote gevaar ?) maar de schimmelinfectie is voor 70% al teruggedrongen.