don't remove your own ingrown toenailYou wake up one day and your toe is just killing you. You know you should have that ingrown toenail taken care of by your podiatrist, but you’re so busy you just can’t be bothered. Instead, you decide to perform what I call “Bathroom Surgery”. What's that you’re probably thinking? It’s any procedure you decide to take on yourself where you’re puncturing the skin. I’ve had patients perform this on ingrown nails, warts, and corns. Just recently one of my patients came in after performing bathroom surgery on his ingrown nail and he came into my office with a terrible infection.

Although this doesn’t happen too often, I do see 2-3 cases of bathroom surgery on an ingrown toenail a year; usually by men. OK guys. Listen up. You probably perform all kinds of surgery on your car and other things around your house, but that doesn’t mean you should be monkeying around with your own toes.

So what can you do if you have a painful toe and you know it’s an ingrown nail?

  • Treat your toe with kindness, instead of brute force; soak your throbbing toe in a foot bath.
  • Stop playing sports so you don’t add insult to injury.
  • Avoid tight shoes – if you have tight shoes that are irritating your toenail, wear ones that have a larger toe box.
  • Get some new shoes- if your favorite tennis shoes are putting pressure on your achy toe, it’s time to buy some new shoes. As we age our feet get bigger, sometimes by a whole size. Don’t suffer needlessly.

Finally, as your Seattle podiatrist, I highly recommend you make an appointment with my office so you can have professional surgery on your toenail. You'll feel relief after the first visit

Dr. Rion Berg
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A podiatrist in North Seattle treating families for over 40 years.
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