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Ingrowing Toenail?


Anna C
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Hope you can help folks.....I think dd may have a mildly ingrowing big toenail, but I've never had one or seen one, so I'm not sure!

 

The skin at the side of her big toenails sort of encroaches onto the toenail, but I always cut her nails straight across, and not too short. The skin at the side looks hard and a bit swollen.

 

It's looked like this for several years, but has never bothered her until this week when she'd had a long session en pointe. She says that one big toe is really hurting, around the sides of the nail and on the toe just above the top of the nail. She wears Ouch Pouch pros and all her other toes are fine. The big toe has gone a bit red.

 

I have been wiping the toe with surgical spirit for the last two days, but I don't know whether that will help or hinder? She has a doctor's appointment the week after next (can't get her in any sooner as she's away next week). Does this sound like an ingrowing toenail, and is there anything I should be doing in the meantime?

 

Thank you!

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My dd's big toe started hurting a couple of weeks ago, in just the same way.

 

She has one foot fractionally larger than the other. Turns out that her demi-pointe shoes were slightly too short and her toenail was pressing on the end of the shoe. She stopped wearing them and her toe is better already.

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my older dd had one on her big toe 8 years ago after cutting her toe nail too short, to reduce the swelling and get all the infection out she used to put her foot in a bucket of really hot water with loads of salt then press the toe at the side to get all the gunk out as she used to say. This worked for a few months but because she was doing much pointe she had to get an operation on it . Touch wood she has not had any problems since and she graduated this summer.xxx

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I do suggest that a medical opinion is sought before asking for advice on any Internet forum. I am sure the advice given here is well meaning but it is no substituted for a professional opinion and in some circumstances it could be counter-indicative of best practice. I know that there have been other threads about injury as well and it has made me uncomfortable that people may rely on a virtual diagnosis/prognosis/course of action.

 

In the case of your daughter's toe, spanner, perhaps you could take her to see a pharmacist for initial advice? they may advise whether it is necessary to seek a more urgent medical appointment or invest in a trip to a chiropodist and how best to proceed in the meantime.

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Firstly, if it is infected it does need to be seen by a podiatrist.

 

I found that when I had to cut the nail during a regular trim - it was best to do it after a warm shower or bath. The nail was much softer and easier to cut straight across.

 

I can't recall a thread on an injury in which seeking medical advice was not mentioned - and usually first on any list.

 

But I could be wrong.

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Both my DS and myself have suffered with ingrowing toenails, he eventually had to have the side of the nail removed and they did something to stop the nail growing back. This was luckily done on the NHS quite quickly but was a few years ago.

 

When I had mine treated they used to roll a small bit of tissue and put it under the nail to lift it away from the toe. I still do this when I can feel it starting to go again.

 

My DS loves having his feet done even gave him a trip to the chiropodist for his brthday one year!

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When my dd started full-time training she has the same symptoms. Saw chiropodist who said that nail wasn't actually ingrowing but was quite wide in comparison to her toe and recommended the same procedure as for an ingrowing nail - narrowing the nail and applying phenol to stop it regrowing. She had this done to both big toes andhas had no further problems. I think a lot of the girls have had similar procedures. It was a very simple process and I don't remember the recovery time being very long. She was told to bathe them in salt water afterwards. I would suggest seeing a chiropodist asap as GPs tend to not understand about dance and will often say 'Well if doing point work makes it hurt just stop doing pointe!'.

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I and my DS and DD all suffer from recurrent ingrowing toenails. The least interventionist treatment which does work (and was originally recommended by an old and very experienced GP) was to 'pack' behind the nail with cotton wool (similar to what KathG described but I find cotton wool is easier to put in as more compressible) to lift the nail away. It usually takes a good week or so of putting increasing amounts of cotton wool in before the pressure is sufficiently relieved for the toe to heal. But if you get them often you can usually pick it up early and sort it out in a few days.

When DS got an ingrowing toenail whilst at summer school in the US they just whipped him down to the Dr and cut the side of the nail completely off- whole thing healed and he was back dancing in about 2 days (of course no pointe so clearly less pressure!). He says this is standard treatment for ingrowing toenails there. Seems a little extreme but I can see how it might result in faster recovery which of course is pretty important if you are expected to train up to 30 hrs a week....

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Thanks so much everyone! Obviously I have made her a doctor's appointment, so I'm not just relying on the internet for medical advice, but as the appointment is not until the week after next, I knew the good folks of Balletco would have had experience of funny dancing feet. :-)

 

All excellent advice, thank you.

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I had a student who had an ongoing problem a few years ago. After seeing her GP she was told she needed to have the whole nail removed - the appointment for the procedure was months later. One of her mother's family friends recommended a chiropodist who sorted the problem out in days (removed a slice of nail) and taught the student how to take care of it. She had no further problems.

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Thanks Pas de Quatre! I will be on my guard for overly drastic solutions!

 

I looked at it again tonight and the redness at the end of the toe has subsided. It was less painful today too, but of course it will be interesting to see how it is after tomorrow's pointe class.

 

I think I'll keep the doctor's appointment but look around for a chiropodist too in the meantime. It's reassuring to know that this isn't that unusual! :-)

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I had an ingrowing big toe nail, but found strapping the toe daily to "pull back" the skin from the side of the nail helped.

Hard to explain in writing, but I bought some zinc oxide tape from the chemist (non stretchy tape) and put a strip across the top of the nail, whilst pulling the skin at the side of the toe away from the nail, then wrapped tape around the toe to hold ithe skin back.

Reapplied daily for about 10 days and all sorted..think I found this method via google..!

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When my older dd had the in grown toenail we went to the doctor at first but all they did was keep on giving her antibiotics . We then went to a private chiropodist as the waiting time for a nhs appointment was 6 months and the thought of my dd not doing pointe because of the pain would have been too much for us all .

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not really an ingrowing toenail query, but a general toenail question. My DS has been doing a lot of end of term performances recently and the toenail on his fourth toe, which had been rubbing a bit inside his shoe, was sore enough for him to show his dance teacher (lucky her :o ). She said that in her opinion all his toenails were too long, which made me wonder how short most dancers have their toenails? She seemed to him to be implying there should be very little 'white' left on the nail and they should be cut shorter than a non-dancer's nail. I had always thought this could lead to ingrowing toenails, but not being a dancer, I have no idea. I will check with our GP when we next have an appointment, but just for interest does anyone have any thoughts on this please?

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