Molly S. Judge DPM, FACFAS
Ingrown nails are perhaps the most common nail deformity known to mankind. This deformity of the nail plate can be benign and tolerated for a life time without difficulty. Unfortunately there are conditions under which the uninteresting nail deformity develops into a real medical problem. You’ve probably seen a case or two in your own home. It’s not uncommon to have a family member complain that they have a painful toe nail. Sometimes it’s simply from a bad trim job leaving a sharp corner cutting into the skin.
Given this condition many people will report to what they feel is the most sanitary room in the house, you guessed it, the bathroom. They’ll put their foot up onto the toilet lid; you know to get a better look at the subject. Then they’ll use what ever instrument they can find to pick, prod, dig and cut at the offending nail corner. A common result of this in home surgical procedure is an infection. Depending on just how contaminated the instrument was it can really be a doozey. Once done, the patient may have a low grade sense of embarrassment about the problem and then begins trying to ignore that they have a problem. This results in an infection that is allowed to fester for days.
The upside is that there are oral medications that you can take for the bacterial infection and creams that you can use to fight the fungus. It’ll take a while, probably a couple weeks but it’ll get better in an average healthy patient. So what’s the downside? For her it’s that she did break the bone in her toe and she’ll probably be able to tell you when it’s going to rain given the arthritis that will develop. So much for television based medical intuition.
Molly S. Judge DPM, FACFAS Completed a three year surgical residency program in major reconstructive surgery for the leg, foot and ankle. She is a Board Certified Foot and Ankle Surgeon with further Board certification in reconstructive foot and ankle surgery. She has offices in Port Clinton, and Toledo, Ohio. Her practice focuses on hard-to-manage cases of pain and deformity of the legs, ankles and feet and consultations for reconstructive surgery. She is the Official Foot and Ankle Physician for The Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic.