painful big toeAlthough I love Bette and her support of green causes, she blamed her painful ingrown toenail on wearing cowboy boots for just a few days. She tweeted “My New York toes don't love Texas cowboy boots....looks like my green thumb has made its way down south!” while she was in Dallas to give a keynote address for a Jewish Family Services women’s luncheon.

According to TMZ sources Bette was actually suffering from an ingrown nail caused by a bad pedicure. She ended having to have her ingrown toenail removed because the pain was so bad.

Now I don’t know if she saw a podiatrist or not, but I hope so. Although primary care and internal medicine physicians can do a nail avulsion or matricectomy (clinical names for ingrown toenail removal), typically they send them to a podiatrist since we do these procedures daily.

3 Rules for Preventing Ingrown Toenails

  • Trim your toenails properly. Be sure to cut your nails straight across if you do your own trimming.
  • Get a referral to a nail salon. Nail salons are not created equal. Not only can that cause ingrown toenails like Bette had, but they can also be hotbeds for toenail fungus if they don’t use proper sanitation techniques.
  • Do your own pedicures properly. If you do your own pedicure don’t trim your cuticles or dig in at the corners since they can get infected. It’s likely this is what happened to Bette.
  • Avoid tight shoes. Although Bette’s ingrown toenail turned out to be from a bad pedicure, she wasn’t wrong to blame it on poor fitting boots. Wear shoes with a toebox that allows your toes to wiggle to avoid a painful toenail.

So don’t be like Bette. Follow the simple rules above and you’ll be less likely to suffer an ingrown toenail. 

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