When it comes to ingrown toenails and how to treat them, misinformation abounds. The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons offers this list of myths you may hear from clients and how to counter them.


Myth: Cutting a notch (a “V”) in the nail will reduce the tendency for the nail to curve downward.

Truth: Cutting a “V” does not affect the growth of the toenail. New nail growth will continue to curve downward.


Myth: Repeated trimming of the nail borders is a good way to treat ingrown toenails.

Truth: Repeated nail trimming fails to correct future nail growth and can make the condition worse.


Myth: Cotton placed under the nail will relieve the pain.

Truth: Cotton placed under the nail can be harmful. It can easily harbor bacteria and encourage infection.

Myth: You can buy effective ingrown toenail treatments at the drug store.

Truth: Over-the-counter topical medications may mask the pain, but they fail to address the underlying problem.

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