Magazine article The Saturday Evening Post

Don't Round Toenail Edges

Magazine article The Saturday Evening Post

Don't Round Toenail Edges

Article excerpt

Dear Dr. SerVaas,

I want to share some information that might help others avoid ingrown toenails.

I have a bunion and recently developed ingrown toenails on both feet. When I went to the foot doctor, he told me that it would take 24 hours after cutting out the toenails before I could play golf again.

It occurred to me that my ingrown toenails had come about after I had been doing my own pedicure. I was cutting the nails short and rounding them into the corners. My doctor told me that they should be cut straight across and left somewhat longer. He also suggested that rubbing Neosporin (an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment) into the sore areas would help. It did and I decided to forego the surgery.

via e-mail

As you mention, squaring off toenails can help prevent the painful condition. Using toe guards and wearing roomy, comfortable shoes is important, too. If you even think that an ingrown toenail is emerging, put some Neosporin ointment on a piece of cotton and dab it between the flesh and the toenail.

Bunions are misaligned big-toe joints that become swollen and painful. They tend to run in families, and preventive measures don't help, according to all the best podiatrists. It seems accepted that if you've inherited problem genes from an ancestor, surgery is inevitable at some point.

But bunion surgery can take you off the golf course and walking trails for many weeks. We think there may still be more to learn about how to delay the onset of bunions, even if you're programmed to develop them as you age. …

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