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So You Love Pedicures?  Do You Love Ingrown Toenails?

I love pedicures as much as the next pretty-piggy-obsessed, too-exhausted-to-do-my-own, really-need-a-spa-day woman.  And I get them too.  BUT… I’ve learned the hard way to limit what I allow the pedicurist do.  And trimming my toenails isn’t one of those things!

Prior to my most recent pedicure I carefully trimmed and filed my nails as I normally do to avoid ingrown toenails.  Before beginning the pedicure, I explained to the pedicurist that I didn’t want her to trim my nails at all.  She asked if she should still trim the skin (cuticles) just not the nails and I confirmed.

Toenail Spicule

Toenail spicules like the above are a leading cause of ingrown toenails.

Fast forward…I’m leaned back in the massage chair, eyes closed, enjoying the chance to relax.  *Clip*  My eyes fly open…cuticles don’t make that sound when they are trimmed!  *Clip*  The very nice and well-meaning pedicurist just trimmed the edges of my toenail back.

Now, there is a silver lining to this story.  After 5 weeks of carefully keeping the nail spicule lifted and waiting for it to grow out, I have a great picture of how improper trimming creates nail spicules.  Notice the way it looks almost as if there is a V cut at the side of the nail and a very sharp piece of nail at the edge.

Very frequently, as the nail grows forward, this spicule will grow into the skin in front of the nail causing an ingrown toenail.  Depending on how quickly the problem is caught and treated (if possible), the nail may puncture the skin resulting in infection and extreme pain.

So, the question…Will I continue to get pedicures?  Absolutely.  I LOVE them!  What I will do in the future, however, is clarify even further that she should NOT trim back the sides of the nail either.