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Ohhh, the dreaded toe issue. Many have suffered, or are still suffering from ingrown nails. Usually it is the big toe and finding an answer can be daunting if a podiatrist is not seen.

There are many reasons why persons get ingrown toenails...tight shoes and vigorous exercise in compact sneakers being two of the most common. Regardless, no matter the cause, the condition is most uncomfortable and extremely painful at times. There are some nail technicians who make decisions to clip the nails by the problematic area, which is not advisable as it can prolong the situation. It just seems as if the nail just has a mind of its own and no longer follows the normal growth pattern and instead chooses to broaden its horizons and become a little too friendly with the skin beside it...or should I say become enemies and puncture the poor skin. Oh yes...I have been there before.

I remember one day, umpteen years ago, wondering why my Grandmother's toes were free of any polish, as this was quite uncharacteristic of her. Upon further investigation, I realized that one of her big toes had an unusual shape at the top. Typically persons have a square, or rounded shape but that toe's nail had a "v" formation in the middle of the free edge at the top of the nail and for the life of me, it just seemed to be the most ridiculous thing I had ever seen. Why would someone do that to themselves...from fab to flop! But when I asked her, she said that was the best non-medical and simple treatment for an ingrown toenail. Sounds strange right? Well, not exactly.

Yes, it looks weird, but is incidentally far from being weird. So I go on with my life, minding my own business and one day I feel this sharp pain in the side of a big toe...the dreaded ingrown toenail. My first solution was to cut the nail away from the skin for instant relief and although it worked, what a mistake. That nail grew back like a vengeance. I could not bother to see a Doctor and although I thought of trying the little "trick" from my Grandmother, it was too unflattering. Instead, I just kept cutting away at the nail until I realized that process was literally putting on a band-aid instead of eliminating the issue. Something had to give.

The decision to either seek medical help or have a silly looking shape nail came one day when every step was a wince. At that point, it did not matter who wanted to glare at my toes, so I went for my nail polish remover and nipper. After removing the polish from all my toes, I proceeded to cut a small "V" shape right in the middle of the top of the free edge of the big toe with the issue. No polish would draw less attention and I had nothing to lose with an ill-shaped nail.

The first couple of days felt the same, which was expected, as the nail needed time to grow. But after a while I realized the pain was diminishing and then finally went. I do not like long toenails so if you are like me, just allow a little growth in order to have enough "edge" to cut the "V". Now, I have never researched why it works but it would seem as if the nail grows away from the sides, trying to join itself in the center. Please do not "hold" me to that explanation and honestly, I really do not care the scientific reason why...all I know is that it works! Not only is the "V" effective, it eliminates the possibility of infection or any other complications that could happen by treating it another way without a Doctor.

Unfortunately, an ingrown toenail is like a diet. You watch your calories for a while, lose the weight, get lax and the weight is put back on. The same with an ingrown toenail...I do the "V", no pain, and even when I cannot figure out why...another ingrown nail. The good thing once again, just as we have control over what we eat, I can cut another "V" and rest easy.

Until Next Week,

The OXX Family

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