I thought this headline might get you reading. And yes even podiatrists can get ingrown toenails. This has happened to me, and I want it to be a message of warning.
Now I have been a podiatrist for many years (don’t want to admit how old I am), and recently I gave myself an ingrown toenail. How on earth did I do that? Well it is an interesting story.
Recently I had knee surgery due to tearing my cartilage in my knee (that is a whole other story!). Because of this surgery I cannot bend my knee very well at all at the moment, and I am waiting for all the swelling to go down. It was not long after the surgery I decided to cut my toenails – that should have been the first red flag.
Message 1 – don’t cut your nails if you cannot get down to them properly.
So here I am on my back verandah trying to cut my nails. I have a team of wonderful podiatrists who work for me, why didn’t I go there? I was too embarrassed for them to see how long my nails were.
Message 2 – we don’t care how long your toenails are, or how bad your feet look, as we have seen it all. Nothing fazes us.
Trying to cut my nails with a straight leg is not easy, that is why I ended up with an ingrown toenail. My clippers could not get into the corner of my big nail properly, so I tore the nail out (by accident).
Message 3 – do not tear nails. They do not tear straight but leave little hooks behind.
That little hook that was left behind now punctured the skin around my nail and it became infected straight away. I thought I could fix it, tried to cut more nail out, but in reality just made it worse.
Message 4 – don’t try and fix it yourself, you will just make it worse.
The next stupid thing I did, was nothing. Thought it would get better, but no, the redness around my toe got bigger, so the whole toe was red.
Message 5 – don’t leave it.
By day 4 I decided to get one of my team to have a look, trying to do it secretly, so that only one of my team knew how stupid I was, that backfired, and my whole team of podiatrists came in for a sticky beak. Thankfully, being the boss means they didn’t give me a hard time for being so silly. Then my podiatrist quickly and I must say painlessly removed the small hook, packed it with antiseptic and sent me on my way. It was a little tender, but my anxiety over how painful it would be to remove did not eventuate, and the toe healed up within days.
Message 6 – getting the ingrown treated is not as bad as you would think.
I hope you have learned from my experience, you think I would know better. Don’t make my mistakes. We see ingrown toenails every day, they can be treated quickly, so you can go on with your life. If you have this problem, don’t hesitate (like I did), give us a call on 9542 3491.
Til we see you in the clinic, take care,
The Team from Sutherland Podiatry Centre