Ingrowing Toe Nail.
To most persons, the above words will suggest some unpleasant associations, for there are few but have had some painful experience with this affection. It is usually, like corns and some other troublesome things, the penalty inflicted for wearing tight shoes. It generally appears upon the great toe. The constant pressure of a narrow boot or shoe against the side of the toe, causes the edge of the nail to sink into the flesh, producing inflammation and pain, and finally ulceration. Nature, attempting to repair the mischief, sends out granulations, which, being perpetually irritated, shoot up into unhealthy growths, cared proud flesh. Thenceforward, the sufferings of the patient become incessant; and he cannot now even compromise, as he would be glad to do, by putting on shoes of ample dimensions, but is obliged to negotiate a peace by putting away the shoe altogether, or by cutting a bole through it to take off the pressure. At the risk of giving the reader a few dismal twinges every time he looks upon this page, we place here, in Fig. 186, a good representation of this tormenting disorder, as a suit. able warning against the folly of giving the toes narrow quarters.
When the disorder begins to make its appearance, it is a good plan to scrape the nail very thin on top; this will cause it to grow upon the upper surface, and to give way at the tender part, so as to obviate, sometimes, the necessity of any other treatment.
The following is the best treatment. Wash the toe in warm water, and make the parts dry with cotton wool. Then gently press cotton wool in between the toe nail and the tender projecting flesh, and extend it along the groove back between the skin and nail. Next, wet the end of a piece of nitrate of silver, and rub it thoroughly upon the nail, close to the cotton, not allowing it to touch the tender flesh; then put on a thin layer of cotton wool, and, in two or three hours, a poultice around the toe.
In two days, the nail will be perfectly black, and, as far as the nitrate was well applied, will be separated from the parts underneath, and may be taken off without pain.
If the nail is very thick, scrap off the black and deadened part in two days, and apply the nitrate again. This treatment is a vast improvement on the old and cruel practice of tearing off the live nail
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copyright 2005, J. Crow Company, New Ipswich NH 03071