Toes-down best pedicurist in Hollywood?
August 13, 2012 11:17 AM   Subscribe

Please recommend the best plan of action for a man in Hollywood, CA who has some fairly wicked ingrown toenails.

If it has to be 'see a podiatrist' that can be arranged. In several weeks. (Kaiser)

I'd much rather go to a salon or whatever this week, and not have the person assigned to help me cringe when they see the welts and bruising these curling nails are causing on my big toes. Not have them ignore or give up on fixing them, and preferably not charge me an arm and a leg for their deft attentions.

I've spent a few hours over the course of the past few weeks digging at them, but my pain threshold and flexibility have their limits. Mostly it's the flexibility issue; I can't really get in there the way I'd need to to fix these nails. I'm not afraid to bleed a little in the hope that I'll be able to walk pain free from now on. Also, I'm not sure how to 'train' my nails to grow properly instead of trying to wrap themselves around my toe under the skin.

I'd really like to meet a person who fixes ingrown toenails for a living, and who would relish a challenge. Do you know that person? What's their name? Are they in Hollywood? I'll go anywhere in the metropolitan area for the right person, but closer is better. If I need to become a regular of theirs, it's an option.

Please give me your recommendations.
posted by carsonb to Health & Fitness (19 answers total)
Best answer: It does hurt like hell. I had them done twice by my doctor who was a general practitioner and surgeon - he shot my toes fulla pain killer and then clipped those suckers out properly (I insisted doing both sides of both big toes at once).

After the second time I was more diligent about proper clipping and shoe wearing to avoid re-issue. This is a medical issue IMO, I can't think of a salon that would want to keep its license ever doing that.
posted by tilde at 11:22 AM on August 13, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I'd really like to meet a person who fixes ingrown toenails for a living, and who would relish a challenge. Do you know that person? What's their name?

Yes. Their name is "podiatrist." They can also permanently kill the part of the nail bed that causes the ingrown toenails to grow in the first place.
posted by grouse at 11:31 AM on August 13, 2012 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Yeah, dude - I do not think any reputable salon is gonna touch this. You've got two options: fix 'em yourself (which is doable! You basically need to ram some sterile gauze UNDER the ingrown edge to lift it up, then leave it there for a bit, then ALWAYS ALWAYS cut your toenails "square" across rather than in the curved shape you are no doubt using), OR go to a podiatrist (I like podiatric teaching hospitals, personally - they are great).
posted by julthumbscrew at 11:32 AM on August 13, 2012

Best answer: I get mine dug out at a nail salon, and I see guys in there all the time. I go to Han's in La Canada, but take a tour through Yelp and see what looks good. I don't think you need a podiatrist--regular pedicures keep my ingrown nails in check, but the first visit was a doozie.
posted by Ideefixe at 11:36 AM on August 13, 2012

Best answer: As my mother always loved to warn me, when she was growing up, one time little Morty Sipkowicz tried to dig out his own ingrown toenail and with the resulting infection ended up having to have part of his foot amputated. Go see a doctor, if only so my mom doesn't haunt you.
posted by elizardbits at 12:17 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Also, I'm not sure how to 'train' my nails to grow properly instead of trying to wrap themselves around my toe under the skin.

I've had surgery performed on both my big toes when I was a kid in order to achieve exactly that. Before the surgery my big toes were chronically infected, I couldn't walk without pain and I lived in constant fear of bumping my toes or someone stepping on my feet. After the surgery (and the recovery period) all my toe nail problems were over.
posted by rjs at 12:28 PM on August 13, 2012

Response by poster: rjs, what does the surgery involve? Lopping off the bits of toeflesh the nails grow under?
posted by carsonb at 12:33 PM on August 13, 2012

Best answer: Podiatrist time. A nail salon might be helpful to keep those suckers maintained or for smaller matters, but a podiatrist is someone who has done this thousands of times, went to school for years to learn about feet, and can do this safely and properly. Podiatrists can also use topical medicines and do stuff that a nail salon isn't going to touch. He/she will also be able to give you tips on nail trimming and care to prevent this from happening in the future.
posted by zachlipton at 12:41 PM on August 13, 2012

Best answer: Podiatrist. Totally worth it.
posted by radioamy at 12:47 PM on August 13, 2012

Best answer: I'm pretty sure you're in podiatrist territory, but for future reference I can recommend Ibiza Nails & Spa in WeHo for a great pedicure. (Foot pain is the worst - my sympathies!)
posted by Space Kitty at 12:49 PM on August 13, 2012

Best answer: My in-office surgery was local anisthetic, with the toenail cut back from under the flesh (out of the don't grow there area) back to near the root (where it was growing normally). Kind of a tri-angle.

Then some cotton packing and exhortations to clean the area gently (I think I was told to pour peroxide on? been a while) and let the cotton stay in there a few days and fall out on its own. Had to pull at the sides of the toes a bit when it started recovering to get liquid in there, that and straight cuts helped. The doc also removed some fleshy bits underneath - I'm guessing to stimulate healing of the skin in a new area and keep the nail from intruding again.
posted by tilde at 1:29 PM on August 13, 2012

Best answer: My insurance picked up the procedure by my Podiatrist (foot Doctor), perhaps yours will, too?

It's worth it, 100%.

Good Luck : )
posted by MansRiot at 1:36 PM on August 13, 2012

Best answer: It's been a long time, but as far as I can remember it was the procedure described under 'Recurrence' on this page (warning: page discusses ingrown toe nail surgery and contains pictures).
posted by rjs at 1:39 PM on August 13, 2012

Best answer: Nthing referrals to a podiatrist. When I was in the service, a Navy Corpsman did the regular "shoot toe full of painkiller, then proceed with traditional ripping and tearing action." It works, but will eventually grew back. This is what most GPs will do.

A podiatrist will properly cut & cauterize the nail bed to prevent re-growth.
posted by Hylas at 2:04 PM on August 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I once had very ingrown toenails, and they went untreated for 6+ months for a variety of reasons. When I finally got to the podiatrist, I got a very stern lecture about the dangers of bone infections. So if your nails are really serious (say, if there is pus involved), you should go to the podiatrist posthaste and not dally around with pedicurists.

Your podiatrist will (probably) tell you that s/he can permanently fix your nails by killing a portion of the nail bed (where the nails grow from). This will effectively leave you with a toenail that is slightly (1/4 of an inch or so) narrower, and will never* become ingrown again. The less drastic fix involves just removing the offending 1/4 inch strip of nail without killing the nail bed, and hoping that the full-width nail grows back in without problems. If you get the option, I'd recommend the more permanent, nail-bed-killing treatment.

* Apparently, some small percentage of people don't respond even to this treatment, and have to get their entire toenail taken off.
posted by dendrochronologizer at 6:25 PM on August 13, 2012

Response by poster: In a surprise move, my healthcare provider responded to my email within a day, and the podiatry center had an appointment for my earliest availability, this Thursday. (That's the soonest I would have been able to go to a salon anyway, so.)

It's a gol-darned miracle.

Thanks for poking me in the right direction, everyone. Cheers!
posted by carsonb at 11:24 AM on August 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Welp.
posted by carsonb at 4:45 PM on August 16, 2012

Good for you!

: D
posted by MansRiot at 5:34 PM on September 6, 2012

Response by poster: Yep, and I'm almost back to 100% about 3 weeks later. Am really looking forward to putting my favorite pair of shoes back on, maybe sometime next week.

Thanks again to everyone who encouraged me to look into the surgery. Nothing even remotely close to what happened could have been achieved at a nail salon. I shudder to think...
posted by carsonb at 4:57 PM on September 7, 2012 [3 favorites]

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