Stabbed by a Toenail

Ingrown nails aren’t fun. They’re not fun for those suffering for it and its not fun (sorta)

for me to remove them as they really hurt upon removal.

An ingrown nail can occur on any fingers or toes but for the sake of Podiatry and this

article, I’ll focus on the toes. Ingrown nails can be familial but is also caused by trauma,

inappropriate pressures and incorrect cutting; funny thing is, before finally seeing a

Podiatrist, ‘one’ always attempts their own treatment, eventually cutting more deeper

and causing a bigger wound.

As explained in my Ingrown nail article, I provide three treatments at the Triumph

Institute clinic and they are used to resolve all severities of ingrown nails.


Michael presented to the clinic after his wife forced him to go. She was in every right

and reason to make him go. When Michael took off his shoe, I could smell it straight

away. I smelt a bad cheesy smell, quite offensive to the nose (I like my cheeses). It was

gunky, pus‐filled, bloody and the big toe was at least double its size due to the swelling.

He said it had been left like that for approximately 6 months! His reasoning was that he

wanted ‘nature’ to take its course and I guess he imagined the toenail would up and

leave him eventually. See folks, this is what I am preaching, to take care of yourself

should problems arise ‐ especially the feet whom we often take for granted.

Michael presented to the clinic weekly over 6 weeks, just for me to check it or reduce

the nail and bandage it up. I knew what the problem was, I knew the solution but it

would involve basically, prying the excessively swollen area of the top (the skin above

the end of the nail plate) of the toe to get access to at least have a look at the nail.

Eventually, I told Michael that enough was enough and that something had to be done,

otherwise the infection became a lot more serious till it was out of my control. So the

day after, Michael fronted up to the clinic for a partial nail avulsionwhich was

removing the ingrowned nail shard and then blasting any frayed nail and the root of

that space with a special acid. With the local anaesthetic applied, I began. I’ll be honest,

I felt like a happy kid on Christmas; it was great relief when I pulled the nail shard which

was the size of my whole thumb nail that stabbed Michael 24/7. It was quite a messy

procedure with the amount of bloody and infection that was already present.

Michael returned 2 days after and the two had reduced in size, getting close to its

original size. Thankfully at the week post‐op visit his toe was back to its normal size.

It would be about 6 weeks later that Michael’s sister (also a patient of mine) informed

me that he had broken his ankle falling off his dirt bike. “D’Oh!”


If you are suffering from ingrown nail pain, please do not attempt to cut the nail nor cut

“V”s as you would only be making it worse or end up making it much more difficult and

painful for myself to remove. The best thing to do is soak in cold icy water to reduce

inflammation and keep betadine antiseptic and bandages handy to cover the area and

of course, consult with your Podiatrist!


“Make Healthy a habit”