Ingrown Toenail Solutions and Prevention vs. Ingrown Toenail Surgery

Ingrown Toenail Solutions and Prevention vs. Ingrown Toenail Surgery

The most popular videos on my YouTube channel are ingrown toenail cleaning videos. Not only are they fun to watch, but so many people around the world are looking for a way to heal their ingrown toenail pain without having to seek medical intervention. Is that possible, you ask? Absolutely! And I am going to share the before and after photos of someone who followed my advice and completely recovered from ingrown toenail issues without having the nail removed. I am also going to give you information on what to look for and when you may need to seek medical attention.

I made a video called, 👣 Pedicure Tutorial Ingrown Toenail Treatment At Home How to Recut Nail Groove to Eliminate Pain, and over 6 million people have watched it. In this video, I explain why it is essential not to cut the corners of the toenail entirely off because the skin can plump up and make your nail grooves disappear. If you lose your nail grooves, the nail continually runs into the skin blocking where the nail grooves should be and causes even more pain. Some people don’t want to deal with this issue long term and see a Podiatrist or other foot care specialist, to have the nail resected. Many people don’t know the difference between ingrown toenail surgery, ingrown toenail removal or ingrown toenail cleaning but fear not, I am going to make that crystal clear for you. But first, let’s give Christie Salas a big round of applause for completely reversing her boyfriend’s ingrown toenail. She followed my advice from the video using cotton and cuticle oil to cushion and keep the area moisturized so the nail could re-cut the nail groove. Look at these results! The result is impressive, a complete recovery from such a severe case. He kept cutting the nail back further and further to prevent the pain, and it seemed as if the only option left was to have the nail removed. But not everyone wants to deal with a healing wound or not having a toenail. It took Christie 1 year to get his toenail looking perfect again. She used cuticle oil every day on his toe and changed the cotton once a week.


According to and, medical intervention is not always required, and most ingrown toenails can be resolved at home. However, if you have redness, swelling, pain, or localized infection are present, you should see a doctor find out if you need antibiotics to avoid further complications. People with diabetes or compromised immune systems should seek medical intervention right away.

What kind of doctors treat ingrown toenails

Family physicians, pediatricians, urgent-care walk-in physicians, and dermatologists, can treat ingrown toenails, podiatrists (foot and ankle specialty doctors) are uniquely qualified among the medical professionals to treat this condition. A podiatrist’s office is also equipped with the necessary instruments required to perform ingrown toenail procedures.

What is the difference between ingrown toenail surgery and ingrown toenail cleaning?

Part of self-care for ingrown toenail problems can include pedicures. But a nail technician cannot work on toenails that have an active infection. Nail technicians can work on an ingrown toenail that has mild redness even swelling, but the goal is only to trim, file, and clean around the nail area to remove excess skin causing discomfort to provide relief. Cutting, filing, or cleaning around a nail that is not performing surgery. Ingrown toenail surgery requires the use of a blade to resection and remove the nail border or corner of the nail or nail border, or permanent elimination of the nail or nail border by destroying the matrix area where the nail is produced. Nail technicians shorten the nail horizontally by trimming across the top of the nail; doctors remove sections of the nail vertically by cutting sections of the nail away from the nail groove. Doctors use scalpels and pliers; nail technicians use nail clippers and nail nippers. Doctors draw blood; nail technicians should not be drawing blood. Doctors use an anesthetic to numb the toe before resecting the nail; nail technicians do not.

According to, the following list is Ingrown toenail don’ts:

Don’t cut down the corners of the toenails.

Don’t trim toenails too short.

Don’t wear improperly fitting shoes.

Don’t avoid treatment by a professional if symptoms persist.

Don’t do surgery on the toenail yourself.

Did you know only about 50% of discolored or thickened, dystrophic-appearing, nails have a fungal infection?

Did you know only about 50% of discolored or thickened, dystrophic-appearing, nails have a fungal infection?

It is possible for the layman to believe a thickened nail must mean a nail fungus is present. When concern a person has a nail fungus presents itself, before treating them cosmetically, it is best to refer the person to their general practitioner who can refer them to a podiatrist or dermatologist to correctly identify the condition if needed. Only about 50% of discolored or dyst


rophic-appearing nails have a fungal infection confirmed with culture. And 20% of the adult population has onychomycosis, nail fungus.

Thickened Toenail Caused by Chemotherapy


There are many other causes for a nail to become thickened or discolored. Treatment like chemotherapy can cause changes in the nail matrix and cause an overproduction of nail cells that form the nail plate. Older people are at an increased risk of nail alterations, including normal age-related changes and disorders that more commonly affect this specific population. Secondary factors are important contributors to pathologic nail changes, including impaired circulation at the distal extremities, faulty

biomechanics, infections, neoplasms, and skin or systemic diseases with nail manifestations.¹

The many other causes of nail thickening and discoloration, which are not a fungus, include:


1. Onychogryphosis thickening and distortion of the nail, typically of the big toe, thought to be due to previous nail bed trauma.²

2. Onychauxis, an overgrowth or thickening of the nail, reveals nothing to the casual observer, the tech, or the doctor. Many times, in fact, onychauxis is a natural part of aging.3


If the thickening is caused by a fungus it “can sometimes be cured,” says Dr. Schumacher. “When a nail is thick because of a fungal infection” ” treatment of the infection may cure the nail.” In cases like this, the nail may be able to grow in healthy after the primary condition has been resolved. However, if onychauxis is caused by trauma and the matrix is damaged, it’s more likely that the thickness will need to be maintained through regular manicures or pedicures, because the nail may continue to grow in thicker than normal nails. Since a doctor must determine a cause before treatment is recommended, there is not a standard treatment for onychauxis. 4

3. Trauma (tight shoes, nail-biting).

4. Poor foot care.



Subungual melanoma


Lichen planus.

5.  Eczema (irritant or allergic contact dermatitis).


6. Lichen planus.

7. Subungual melanoma.

8. Psoriatic nail disease. Psoriasis can affect the skin, nails, and joints. Classically, psoriatic nail disease consists of onycholysis; salmon (oil) spots (discolored areas that represent nail bed psoriasis); an irregular pitting pattern; and onychauxis. The Koebner phenomenon, or the appearance of lesions at the site of in


jury, can also occur in the nails and may manifest in an asymmetrical presentation. If a patient presents with an onychomycosis-like nail involvement and has failed oral antifungals, one should consider a diagnosis of psoriatic nail disease. Also, if psoriatic plaques and nail dystrophy are present, they do not automatically lead to a diagnosis of psoriatic nail disease. This is why culture and biopsy with negative PAS stain are essential to achieving the correct diagnosis.5


9. Bacterial paronychia – e.g., Pseudomonas spp. infection.

Bacterial paronychia

10. Systemic disease – e.g., thyroid disease, diabetes, peripheral arterial disease.

11. Rare systemic disorders – e.g., keratosis follicularis (Darier’s disea

Yellow Nail Syndrome

se), yellow nail syndrome, nail-patella syndrome, pachyonychia congenital.


Idiosyncratic drug reaction

12. Idiosyncratic drug reaction (especially tetracyclines, quinolones and psoralens).


It is a “nail myth” that “nail thickness is caused by separation of the nail layers.”

The layman explanation to most of the causes of a thickened nail, items in the above list, is due to changes in the matrix which produce the nail cells. Nail cells move up the nail bed after being produced. When the matrix experiences change due to trauma, circulation or disease, it can create an overproduction of nail cells creating the thickened nail.

The technical term for layers of the nail separating is Onychoschizia. It is the transverse and lamellar splitting of the free edge and nail plate. The causes are excess wetting and drying of the nail, trauma, nail enhancements or polish, and systemic diseases. But does not include thickening of the nail.

Nail fungus caused by dermatophytes can cause an illusion of a thickened nail. The invasion of the organism causes mild inflammation, the skin under the nail to thicken (focal parakeratosis), and an overproduction of keratin (subungual hyperkeratosis) which push the nail up from the nail bed creating an illusion of thickness.6

Older people are at an increased risk of nail alterations, including normal age-related changes and disorders that more commonly affect this specific population. Secondary factors are important contributors to pathologic nail changes, including impaired circulation at the distal extremities, faulty biomechanics, infections, neoplasms, and skin or systemic diseases with nail manifestations.7

Holding a nail technology or cosmetology license makes you the best advocate for the people who trust and look to you for your expert advice your license gives you, and the knowledge to know when to refer them to a physician. You were trained and tested on nail disorders and diseases. When in doubt always refer to a physician. Holding a nail technology or cosmetology license does not prevent you from educating yourself beyond the nail technology course. Always follow your state board guidelines regarding this topic when it comes to treating your clients cosmetically.

Links to supporting documentation are included in this post.

Definitions that are not explained above.

Nail dystrophy refers to poor nail formation, usually as the result of trauma or infection. When caused by trauma, the nail becomes discolored due to blood pooling underneath the nail. Over time, the nail breaks away from the nail bed until it detaches completely.8


  For more continuing education on the nail industry visit The Meticulous Manicurist Nail Tutorials

Pedicure Tutorials, Acrylic Nail Tutorials, Hard Gel Tutorials
The Meticulous Manicurist Nail Tutorials

Pedicures have tremendous health benefits and no longer considered pampering.

Health Benefits of Pedicures

Why do you think people feel so good after they get a pedicure from a licensed nail technician? It may surprise you that it isn’t just the polish color they picked and that’s the truth. If you ask twenty people after their pedicure service why they get a pedicure, most will tell you it is because they feel so great afterward.  There are so many health benefits and overall well being actions that take place during a pedicure that most people don’t even know about. And the cumulation of these things are why you feel so fantastic after your pedicure.

Health benefits of pedicures
Health benefits of pedicures

The word pedicure is derived from the Latin words pedis which means “of the foot”, and cura, which means “care”. Foot care is a very important part of maintaining your health and well being. That is why it is especially important to see a licensed professional who is following state board patron protection and sanitation regulations to avoid injury during the service. One important Michigan law you should be aware of, it is not legal to use a Credo Blade or razor blade to remove calluses during a pedicure service. Doing so can cause bleeding and the release of blood born pathogens.

What to Expect During a Pedicure

Women get the importance of a pedicure and many men are slowly, but surely understanding how important it is to their health. Many men shutter at the idea of a pedicure due to the fear of the unknown, but after getting a professional pedicure they look forward to the next one! So lets talk about what to expect.

* A good pedicure service is a 45  min to 60 min service. You can get an express pedicure in 30 min but you don’t get all the  benefits.

First you enter a private room where you sit in a reclining massage chair and slide your feet into an attached whirlpool tub. The tub is filled with hot water and an aromatherapy foot soak to soften the skin. The whirlpool bath improves circulation and helps reduce pain and swelling.

The cuticles are then softened with a cuticle treatment, the toenails are trimmed and filed and meticulous care is taken with the cuticles to remove excess buildup.

A sea salt scrub is applied to the lower leg and gently massaged to remove dead skin cells and moisturize the skin.

The most enjoyable part of the pedicure is the  foot and leg massage. Utilizing reflexology techniques, the massage is given to relax tense, hard working muscles.

Finally, we clean up of the nail plate by removing all debris and oils left on the nail plate from the massage and prep the nail for polish application.

Health Benefits of a Pedicure

So where are the health benefits you ask?

Performing these steps insures removal of bacteria and germs around the nail plate.

Eliminates foot odor and prevents ingrown toenails and infection.

Exfoliation  encourages healthy skin cell renewal, prevents cracking and softens calluses.

Foot and leg massage utilizing reflexology techniques increases circulation, relaxes muscles and encourages healing in many parts of the body.

You gain improved skin, muscles and joints and prevention of common foot problems and infections. Overall your body relaxes when your feet become pain free and the therapeutic benefits promote a happy mood. A professional pedicure has been shown to alleviate back, hip and joint pain!

We are seeing more and more men, mostly upon their wives request, and we are thrilled they are finally OVER feeling funny about getting their feet done! We are concerned about your health and guarantee your safety by following all patron protection rules and regulations including equipment and implements protocols. We recommend a monthly pedicure to keep your feet happy and healthy all year long! We look forward to seeing you soon!

Author: Lori Halloway

Protecting our Patrons: The Importance of Disinfection

Salon sanitation is imperative in all salon services. But the one service people worry about the most is having a pedicure. We have all heard horror stories from friends or read about one online. A terrible experience that started with a little voice in their head that told them to turn and leave. But they didn’t and in retrospect, they should have listened to their instinct.
You should always make sure the salon you choose to have your pedicure in follows proper sanitation and sterilization guides set by the State of Michigan. Don’t be afraid to ask how often they clean their tub and what germicide they use to do it. You should also ask if the tub has pipes or tubes the water is circulated through to create the bubbles. These tubs have a much greater risk of bacteria being stored in them and should be avoided. If it isn’t avoidable make sure they run a sterilization agent through the pipes at least once a week.

The goal from our salon’s perspective is 100% patron protection and to guarantee there is no transfer of any communicable virus or bacteria during the pedicure service. Here at Voila Salon & Spa we want you to know we guarantee our standards are above and beyond Michigan’s requirements. (Which are placing washed equipment in a container holding a chemical sanitizing agent. Acceptable agents are those registered for use in interstate commerce by the USDA. Sharp edged tools mush be wiped with a 70% alcohol solution.) We insure that all implements are either single use or sterilized in between every client, not just sanitized. We use 99% alcohol on surfaces and Citricide II to clean the tub in between each client. This chemical sterilizer kills all bacteria and even kills the AIDS virus. Our pedicure tub is pipeless so there is no risk of bacteria being trapped anywhere in the equipment.

So with all this information we hope you know your health and safety is just as important to us as a beautiful pedicure experience. And we hope to see you and your friends soon. Voila Salon & Spa, 151 Keveling Drive, Saline, MI (734) 944-9363.

It is always good to remind people of terms and definitions commonly used in the beauty industry. These definitions are from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Sanitation – to wash with soap and water to remove dirt and debris and to reduce the levels of microorganisms to a safe, acceptable level. Before implements or equipment can be disinfected, they must first be sanitized.

Disinfection – the use of a chemical procedure that eliminates virtually all recognized pathogenic microorganisms but not necessarily all microbial forms. (Microorganisms are living organisms, good and bad, that are invisible to the naked eye.) All implements and equipment used on clients must be disinfected before use.

Sterilization – the use of a physical or chemical procedure to destroy all microbial life, including highly resistant bacterial endospores. (Endospores are thick walled bodies formed within the vegetative cells of certain bacteria. They are able to withstand adverse environmental conditions for prolonged periods.)