If your ingrown toenail or toenails are starting to drag you down, it’s time to show that nail who’s boss. And by the way, that’s you. Lydia was tired of feeling like a cassowary so she took her troubling nail to the GP and finally took care of it.
Big toe says no
“Your big toe will tell you when something is wrong with your nail,” Lydia says, when asked how people can know when you may be developing an ingrown toe nail.
“As far as I know, it really just affects big toes. For me, I started to notice a sharp pain in the side of my toe, where my nail meets the skin. I ignored it for ages because we don’t really pay attention to our feet … but we should!”
Lydia says she didn’t do anything about the pain for at least two months, until one day something changed.
The ‘uh-oh’ moment
“I was really busy and on my feet a lot, especially because I work at a bar. So I need my feet to do my job. Then one night after work, the pain seemed to be shooting up my ankle. I took my shoe off and copped a nasty surprise,” Lydia says.
Lydia’s toenail had irritated the skin so much that it started to become inflamed, red and infected. Lydia says she just looked at her toe and thought “uh-oh”.
“Pus was starting to seep out!” she says.
“It was just the thing I needed to send me straight to the doctor. I wish now I didn’t leave it for so long, especially because it becomes really tender and sore very quickly.”
“I went straight to my GP and as soon as he saw it he said, ‘You have an ingrown toenail,'” Lydia says.
“I was surprised because I’d never experienced one before, but I had been working quite a lot and it’s also possible that when I cut it, a small piece of sharp nail didn’t come away and started irritating the skin.”
Luckily, the doctor was able to apply a local anaesthetic to Lydia’s toe and, with special tools, was able to cut away the small part of the nail that was causing the trouble. He applied a dressing to keep it clean until the toe healed, and Lydia was back on her feet in a couple of days.
“My foot felt better immediately – I could feel it started to heal as soon as the irritant was removed. It healed quickly. I just have to watch out for it now because I’m probably more susceptible to getting another ingrown.”
Lydia says she wants to tell people that ingrown toenails are nothing to be embarrassed about. Everybody has something they need to watch, whether it be toenails or dandruff – it’s just the human body. She says her advice would be to go to the doctor sooner, rather than later.
“Don’t wait until you can’t walk!” she says.
After your doctor tends to your big red toe, they will be able to explain the best ways to keep it from being so severe again.
|For more information on the anatomy of nails, including how nails are produced and develop, nail injuries and interesting facts about nails, see Nails.
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