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Can vaseline really cure an ingrowing toenail?

(18 Posts)
Stillstanding Thu 29-Feb-24 13:53:09

I have had ingrowing toenails on my big toes for many years but now I have difficulty seeing my toes clearly let alone cutting them. So I called a podiatrist. Toes cut and ingrowing toenail was fine. A few weeks later I was in such pain at night I had to leave my foot out of the bed on the floor to try and avoid the pain. Called a second podiatrist and he said my ingrowing toenail was infected and although he could cut my toenails that would only solve the problem temporarily and I need surgery that he can do in my house. Two weeks later I was in agony at night again. Consulted Dr Google. S/he-it said the put vaseline all over big toe and wrap with a bandage.


Now I cover my big toe with vaseline every night and wrap it in a folded up tissue and the pain has stopped and I sleep again at night.

So; question is, is it really an ingrowing toenail? and if not then what can it be that vaseline is curing?

Esmay Thu 29-Feb-24 13:56:46

I have an ingrowing toenail and recommend a few drops of tea tree oil .

Nannarose Thu 29-Feb-24 14:00:50

An ingrowing toenail is normally where the nail grows into the pad of skin. if you massage with anything (Vaseline is cheap) you are pushing the skin away from the nail.
Not sure about the bandage, but it stops you getting the sheets greasy, and may help to keep the skin away from the nail.

2 riders here:
1. it won't cure an infection - just help to prevent it recurring
2. anything that doesn't clear up within a reasonable time / recurs needs looking at again.

Also to help with prevention:
Shoes that do not cramp the toes
Low heeled shoes for every day wear, as high heels push the toes against the end of the shoe.

Hope that helps!

Stillstanding Fri 01-Mar-24 16:45:04

Thank you Nannarose for your reply. I have my 58 year old son to thank for my ingrowing tosenails and I thought I had learned to handle them OK. What I cannot understand is what is wrong with my big toes that causes so much pain when I am lying in bed and why getting up and walking for a few minutes relieved that pain./ I think I will call out another podiatrist and get my toenails cut and get another opinion.

Thank you again.

Germanshepherdsmum Fri 01-Mar-24 16:55:51

I had badly ingrown big toenails for years. One became infected. I had surgery on both, which involved removing part of the nail bed. First was done in the 70s which was extremely painful because due to infection the local anaesthetic didn’t ‘take’. Did the trick though. The second was a doddle, in the 80s. It can be an hereditary condition - my Dad suffered, as did my son until he too had surgery. The surgery nowadays involves killing part of the nail bed with a chemical, and is quite painless. I know what it’s like to be unable to bear even a sheet lying on your toe!

Callistemon21 Fri 01-Mar-24 17:44:06

Vicks works on fungal infections of the nail, so I've been told.

The nurse at our surgery recommends rubbing new scars with Vaseline to help keep them moist.

Esmay Sat 02-Mar-24 10:19:46

I'm very gently filing and cutting my ingrown toenail after giving it a long soak -I could just lift it -ouch !
I think that I've caught it just in time .
The boots , which caused it have been thrown out and I've replaced them with a pair a size up .
Tea tree oil is helping a lot .
It also helps with fungal nails as Vicks does , but I'm not sure that either will completely cure the condition .
Oral medication is best , but those anti fungal drugs can be dangerous .

Allsorts Wed 06-Mar-24 08:05:04

You have to lift the nail off the nail bed to stop it hurting, gently using a tooth pick lift the nail and put cotton wool, a tiny bit underneath the nail to prevent it touching the nail bed, then smear Vick over it. Painful for a minute doing the procedure but bliss after.

Iam64 Wed 06-Mar-24 08:19:50

I see a good podiatrist every 5 weeks. She strips the ingrowing bit out I don’t want surgery if I can avoid it

Sparklefizz Wed 06-Mar-24 08:25:38

Esmay ...but those anti fungal drugs can be dangerous.

In what way?

silverlining48 Wed 06-Mar-24 08:37:11

like GSM I had that same surgery on my toe some years ago. It took ages to heal. Would not wish to repeat if at all possible.
My nails both hands and feet are all very curved so am very careful especially with feet and see a trustworthy but expensive podiatrist who understands the problem. Even if I could reach I wouldn’t cut them myself.

Witzend Wed 06-Mar-24 08:43:54

I used to have one, but not as bad as the OP’s. I used to tuck a tiny piece of cotton wool soaked in baby oil under the corner of the nail and that would lift and soften it.

Pantglas2 Wed 06-Mar-24 08:46:52

I had the beginning of an ingrown toenail and read that a short length of tooth flosser string tucked between the nail and toe bed works because the nail can no longer grow inwards, only upwards.

It took a few weeks and I no longer cut oval but straight across the nail and not too short either when I do my own monthly pedicure.

Germanshepherdsmum Wed 06-Mar-24 08:58:34

It’s a very different procedure now silverlining. My first one involved making an incision in the toe and cutting out a section of nail bed. Very painful and stitches needed. The second was a much simpler procedure, no incision and a section of nail bed killed with chemicals to prevent re growth. No down time. Exactly the same when my son’s was done.

Esmay Wed 06-Mar-24 12:10:50

Sparklefizz -Antifungal drugs can cause severe reactions - liver damage and anaphylactic shock .
Other allergies can cause this , of course .
I was given them and had severe lower back pain and passed blood when I passed urine .
I was rushed into hospital .
If you are prescribed them your GP will warn you or should do .
Now my GP doesn't want to prescribe them for my long term fungal toenails , which is understandable .

I've been treating my ingrowing toenail with success with tea tree oil .
I'm going to try the dental floss to lift the nail - thanks Pantglas2 .
Tree tree oil seems to work on my fungal nails ie: it keeps it under control , but it isn't curing them .

Grandmafrench Wed 06-Mar-24 15:12:42

Almost anything applied to the ingrowing nail can seem soothing, but it doesn't stop the nail constantly ingrowing, and reacting after trimming or cutting (especially if the nail is cut lower than the top of the toe).

Pants has the best idea in that the whole plan should be to lift the offending nail away from the skin and stop it penetrating the flesh and causing pain and infection.

My Podiatrist almost had a fit when I asked her if I would need to have the nail removed. She said that this was completely unnecessary and not something she would ever recommend for her own family. The last visit to an earlier Podiatrist, who kept pulling the side away from my nail, dressing it and leaving me in pain meant that I would often wait for an infection which would stop me from sleeping, necessitate antibiotics and an inability to wear shoes until most of the redness had receded. I lived in fear of even touching the top of my toe with anything at all, bedding, a sock, shoes, washing my feet, because the pain was unbelievable.

My Podiatrist suggested that she used the Sogawa method to get rid of the ingrowing toenail for good. In one session she shaped the nail, applied a Titanium wire which was cut to fit the width of my toe and at one end had hooks which were put under the ingrowing nail, lifting it away from the awful hump and shape which the nail had become. The wire at the 'good' end was clipped, and fixed with some special resin on top of the nail. This meant that it kept pressure on the ingrowing part encouraging the nail to grow in a different and more normal way. I was told that I might need regular checks, otherwise I could ignore the wire until the nail grew to sufficient length that the wire fell away from the top, or she felt it was right for removal. I am about to lose the wire after 4 months. During that time I have been completely comfortable for the first time in years, the nail is no longer ingrowing or painful or unsightly. I have forgotten that it's there.

For nail fungus, I have successfully used Onytec 80mg/g (which is Ciclopirax) and after painting on the varnish for a number of weeks one summer it was wonderful to see the new clear nail growing up and the stained nail growing out.

If you want any further comment on the Sogawa method, PM me !

Sparklefizz Wed 06-Mar-24 18:56:18

Thank you Esmay. Sorry you had a bad time.

Esmay Fri 08-Mar-24 08:43:05

Thank you Sparklefizz -it's a long time ago , but it just shows all of us that antibiotics /antifungals can be dangerous .