Rehab Cell

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation



So you trim that as far deep as you can and you think you have the whole nail but you’ve left a little corner behind and that’s what’s gonna start the whole ingrown toenail process. (music) What’s going on is that we have a patient who is complaining of an ingrown toenail. She has very curved nails, as we can see, and the nail goes far down into the side on this corner. So, she has a tendency, this patient, to trim down the side to give her as much relief as possible. So that would be considered conservative treatment. So this is something that people get done at a pedicure spa, or they do it themselves, or they come in to see someone like me and we do more of some conservative treatment where we just trim down the side of the nail to kind of get that piece of the nail out of the skin and give you relief as much as possible. But if the nail is very curved and it tends to always grow into the corner, this is something that will keep coming back and that’s when we decide to do more of a permanent ingrown toenail procedure. So the normal train of thought is try to trim down the side, okay, and create a very smooth edge. The smoother the edge, the less chance it has of it poking into the skin. So that’s why a lot of educational videos are just advice in general on how to trim your toenails. They say cut straight across. The problem is if someone has trimmed the nail down the side, that corner of the nail is stuck in the skin and unless it’s taken out, it’s gonna keep bothering you. So once you start cutting down the side, you kind of get stuck trimming it over and over and over. So what I’m gonna do today is I’m gonna show this patient how to use a tool to kind of clean the corner. So what I have here, see if we can see, is a Black’s file. So it’s a very slim instrument and the backside of it, this part over here, is very smooth. That’s the part that’s gonna go against the skin and we can see the other side has little grated edges and this is what’s going to be used to act as a file to smooth that nail edge. So how this tool works is we slip tool on the side of the nail and we kind of go along the edge of it to make sure that there’s no dead skin and to make it as smooth as possible. Okay, if you feel any pain you let me know, okay? P: Okay. So what I’m doing is going down the edge to see where the nail ends and I’m gonna try to pull up. Does that hurt? A little? Yes, no? P: Yes. Yes, okay. If it’s too sore, you let me know. So I can see this nail is really ingrown. I can tell it’s really sensitive. So there’s this corner piece right here and that’s what I’m gonna work on, smoothing as much as possible. Hurts a lot? Yeah, growing into the skin right here. So I’m gonna try to smooth this as much as possible. If we can get a lot of that corner to be smooth, that nail it should be smooth, as it grows out, it won’t cut into the skin. This nail is really bugging her and it’s really tight. So what we’re gonna have to do is, we’re going to have to trim down the side. Okay? To create more space between this edge and the skin. If we can cut down here and make them push the nail away from the skin, it won’t irritate it. But the difference that what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna use this tool to smooth that cut after I’m done to try to prevent a rough edge from cutting into the skin. So that’s the big difference. A lot of people tell you don’t cut down the side. If you can avoid it, great. But if you do, having a tool like this will help clean out that corner so it’s not so painful. I’m just going to trim the nail down the side, okay? If it gets really sensitive, you let me know. Okay. I can’t do it in this position. So we trim down the corner, okay, and now I’m trying to smooth the edge so there’s no rough point and I can see with this tool that there’s a little corner left behind and that’s why this tool is pretty helpful for me to see if there’s a piece that’s left behind. So you can see there’s a lot of dead skin coming out. This tool helps make sure that the whole nail sulcus is clear, no dead skin is building up, and to smooth any edge that’s left behind. Okay. Last little piece that I see, you can see here, coming out, last little piece. Not a good position for me. Let me lift the foot back up like this. So that corner was really stuck in here and she’s been having a hard time treating this and even me, with my sharper tipped nail nippers, trying to get all the way to the end of the nail is very hard. So you trim that as far deep as you can and you think you have the whole nail but you’ve left a little corner behind and that’s what’s gonna start the whole ingrown toenail process. So now I can actually get around to the edge of the nail, I can see the very very end and I’m smoothing it out as much as I can. Does this hurt you with me doing this? P: No. Okay, very good. So as you can see, it’s not hurting her as much. It’s not as sensitive because that piece is kind of gone. I’m cleaning this corner; I’m down at the very edge. So I’m at the very end of where I made my cut and I’m using this tool to clean the corner as much as I can. The smoother I get this, the healthier the nail will grow out and hopefully not have a spike to cut into the skin again and cause discomfort. If this problem keeps happening, this is when we suggest doing something a little bit more permanent, so this doesn’t come back. So you can see it just pulling out dead skin, all the build-up of callus, dead skin, nail dust from me filing it down. So now I can go in here nice and smooth, go around the nail edge. Does this hurt? P: No. TB: Okay. Good. The last little bit, so it’s very deep in here and that’s what happens when you pick around here too much. So that’s why you guys, a lot of people end up coming in here because they’ve tried to dig it out. They thought they’d cut to the edge of the nail; they didn’t left a little spike. So by having this tool, you can go to the very end of the nail, check the side, no issue. So if I go on this side, I can see the end of the nail all here. It’s hard for you guys to see because I don’t have it going very close but I can see the very end of the nail. There’s no rough edges. It’s a little tender for her so I’m just gonna smooth it up and down just like a file you’d use on hard skin but it’s doing it on the nail itself and this is gonna create more of a space between the nail and the skin and that way as the nail grows out. It doesn’t push against the skin and that’s gonna help give you some relief. So you can see that dust that’s coming out. That’s just actually the nail dust from me filing the nail. So this will be really helpful for a lot of people to check the corners to make sure they have no speck left behind, to clear out the corners, very, very deep in here. Very deep. Is there pain, if I push here? Does it hurt? A little bit? Tender? Well we just poked around a little bit. So this should be much better because now I can put my tool in here; there’s a lot more space. The goal is to keep filing this nail now, allow the nail to grow out, but keep it rounded so then we don’t have to cut down the side again. If you look at this toe, it’ll be interesting to see. We can see the nail edge is quite exposed, different and we see a line here and so this is a sign that she’s had an ingrown toenail procedure done before; she had it when she was a teenager and this is a different procedure than what I do. What they do here is they cut all the way down, cut out the nail matrix itself, and then put a little stitch so everything closes up. So that’s why there’s a different kind of scar here because they actually cut this all open and took out the nail matrix itself physically instead of using a chemical.
So we can see the nail stops growing at that line; nothing grows past here. No more ingrown. So the nail edges is nice and free . You can see I can put the tool and this is actually a good way to look at what I’m doing inside or when the nail is stuck in the skin is I’m just pushing it against the side of the nail and up and down. Just filing it. So we’ll check this side. Again, very curved nails but I can see the edge here and it’s again very sensitive for her because the nail is tight. So to me, going in here, cleaning the corner, pulling out dead skin. So you want to go from the bottom and pull to the top and this is what’s gonna allow you to take out dead skin, smooth the edge of the nail create, more space between the nail and the skin and this is gonna help give you more relief from really curved nails and making sure that there’s no rough edge or nail spike. So again, really important for people with ingrown toenails or curved nails to have some sort of tool to clean the edge of the nail so there’s no rough spikes, if you do cut down the side, create more space between the nail and the skin, and help remove some of the dead skin buildup that also can cause a lot of pain. By keeping the nail sulcus free, it helps really reduce a lot of pain that people feel from pressure. So again, you use the smooth side of the Black’s file against the skin, so there’s nothing sharp, and then you push against the nail edge, and you pull forward; in, out. Just like that. Okay, so let’s see if I can get an up-close view. So there’s a deep groove and I’m able to go to the very end of where I made my cut and pull forward. So now this channel is smooth. The edge of the nail, right here where I finished my cut, is smooth. There’s no jagged point that goes in. So as this grows out, it should be relatively smooth. Same with here too. Go to the nail edge, you slip it underneath, then you pull it forward and this will help clean the nail sulcus and make sure there’s no rough corner. You can also use it on the corner of your nails, like this, to just round that final edge. So nothing’s sharp. So I’m just gonna wipe it down with a little alcohol and that’s how sometimes we treat ingrown toenails conservatively. Smooth that nail edge, so as this nail grows out, because it’s rounded, it won’t cut into the skin. It moves up and now we can start cutting it straight across. If we can leave the tip, the edge of the nail, above the skin fold, very good. Anytime we cut low, like this, that’s where we run a risk of leaving a nail spike and that growing into the skin itself. So filing that edge, nail edge, smooth really helps promote a healthier straighter and smoother nail to grow out without cutting into the skin.


  1. I did the surgical procedure and it didn't work and now I have ingrown nails on both sides of both of my big toes… This video looks like it's the best way to do it

  2. Can anyone tell me if this will eventually "cure" ingrown nails? Like, I want to stay as far away from the sketchy doctors in my area as humanly possible lol

  3. I had a client today and he tipped me good but I dont deserve it cus I couldn't get the hang nail and made his bleed. X.X I hope he will be alright I told him he can call to let me know if he has any problems, and I just ordered the black file tool, @[email protected] so next time he comes I can actually fix it

  4. Wow – this has to be one of the most helpful places on the internet. Seems like legit information and while it's not for every case it's helpful to people who want to learn about nail/foot health. nice videos!

  5. I’ve had an ingrown toenail like this for a few weeks now maybe even a month. I’ve tried everything but can’t get to it. I haven’t told anybody and seriously don’t want to go docs. It hurts to put any pressure on it. I’m only 14. What should I do?

  6. Yooo mine hurts but my mom told me put vaporub with salt on it and i just put some plastic thing around so it wont get all over my sock and it feels a lil better wont solve the problem

  7. mine is already infected, can I still do this? ofc it will hurt but can I do this while its swollen or should I wait and keep it clean meanwhile? I've had surgery on it before and the tip is not cutting it its swollen in the middle.

  8. I have chronic ingrown toenail, just like in this video. I get them removed by my nail lady every month just to have them come back. Extremely painful. What's the permanent solution? Please help.

  9. I have finally learned to use this tool and I use a curved nipper to cut the corner which for me is easier, I could get any pedicures that would do this for me! I do find that keeping my toenails cut curved works better for me. Thank You so much fir this lesson

  10. My nails are SO SENSITIVE.
    All that poking around, especially deep looks very painful.
    Wtf… Ouch… 😧🦶⛏️

  11. Wait. So you're supposed to be able to go all the way down to the end of the nail between the skin and nail?? I think I'm in trouble…

  12. When I get something like this done and they’re like “let me know if it hurt” I never say it hurts even if I’m in agony. I just want them to hurt and get it done ha

  13. This show is freaking awesome I love it I just wish that there would be more shows and it would be on more consistently I like it better than dr. Pimple popper and I love that show

  14. there is a thing looks like a big cut on the side of my big toe right where the ingrown toenail is and that's from me messing around with it trying to cut it out myself and all I do is hurt it every time and never get the ingrown toenail out how do you do it if your nails are too short and you cut them way too short and you know you caught them wrong really wrong when they start to grow they're going to grow right into my skin because of the way it's caught because I was messing with it I don't know what to do

  15. Thanks for posting this video, this is really helpful information for treating this at home, presented in a way that’s easy to understand. Especially for people like me who don’t have medical insurance to rely on. Thank you!

  16. Nail ingrew on the right side of my toes skin and i had about 3 surgery operations and each failed but at those three i had my nail cut at half so maybe that's a reason of ingrowing, now my toe is red and the yellow discharge flews out of it so next operation awaits

  17. Just him touching the toe with his actual finger will put me in sooooo much pain. I really need to see someone that can help me cuz it’s so swollen that I can’t even dig in there. I litterly cry and scream of so much pain. Once I went to a party and someone stepped on my toe, and I started crying. When I got home to take my shoes off I saw that a big spot of my sock was covered in blood coming from my toe. I am tired of this. I’m only 13 and I can’t go anywhere without being in pain or embarrassed. And it has been like this for 2 years straight. I need help

  18. Okay I've been dealing with ingrown toenails for a couple years now and I have the little file that you use in this video but I had no idea I was using it wrong. While watching your video I think I just fixed my toenail! Thank you so much

  19. It has been five years ever since I encountered plantar fasciitis discomfort and I wasn’t able to stop it by using different medications. When I discovered plantar fasciitis guidebook “Kamdοdο Mula” (Google it). I was able to eliminate the pain in just a week. I reached the fantastic outcomes three months ago and I’m so grateful that I no longer experience the pain caused by the condition..

  20. I bought this tool about 10 years ago. I couldn't figure out how to use it so I put it in a drawer. I will pull it out and give this a try. Thanks for the demonstration!

  21. "Does that hurt?"
    Edits out video.
    (Keeps filing)
    "Hurts? Yes? No?"
    (Keeps digging)
    Edits video….
    "Ok this is really bothering her…"
    (Proceeds to prod…)

    Girl now in therapy after nightmares of Toe Bro appt.

  22. My experience, #1 keep nail 2-3mm longer than tip of toe skin. One day I fell from bike (to avoid run over my dog) and my toe hit ground hardly. After a few months, it reborn with brand new one and became much better one. Wish can do the other side too.

  23. Fail!! He forgot the golden rule -soak in hot water to make nail malleable!!!
    Also use a tinier pair or nippers.
    This was a hack job, I'm sure was painful.
    Poor woman😥

  24. I did this about 2 months ago and it was pain as shot btw but it still haven’t fix it, wtf should I do now?

  25. I use a similar tool to file the side of my large toe which has a serious curve. I think it’s prevented a serious ingrown toenail.

  26. Toe Bro, where can I find the nail file that you use specifically for this purpose? My podiatrist just recommended me to remove the portion of my nail so it’ll never grow out ingrown again, but I was hoping to keep my nail as is….I asked about this “smoothing/rounding the nail” but he seemed he didn’t agree with it. Please message/respond back cause I feel in the dark on this process you have provided for this patient in the video and would’ve preferred it done for me. Opposed to killing off a portion of my nail and it being slightly smaller than the other nail.


  27. Yesterday I worn tight shoes and my ingrown nail started hurting so bad , I woke up with a swollen toe twice as big. I took large nail clippers and clipped the whole chunk of the corner nail. It was sooook painful, I thoughts was going to pass out. But after I cut that nail off I got immediate relief.
    Now I have a huge dent in that corner, the nail penetrated the skin so deep it left a huge hole!
    But there was no blood, thank god all came out with no rupture of the skin.

  28. hi I was trying to order the nail filer. Your site says free shipping from July 31st through August 12th so I wanted to make sure I bought it before the 12th. I'm in California. Everytime I try to check out the shipping is added. Is there some sort of promo code?

  29. I need a video like this but for finger nails I literally have 4 fingers with ingrown nails at the same damn time rn shit hurts

  30. I really need this tool. I seem to be prone to ingrown toenails and have a painful one my second toe right now

  31. What about the ingrown toe nail that's another half inch further in. This ingrown toe nail on video is easy to get rid of. I've got the kind that is back in there far. Hurts to the touch and swollen.

  32. Hot water to the point of water logging the skin is how I make it work as painless as possible. I keep leaving that little edge which thank you for this video, I am going to invest in that tool.

  33. I have an ingrown toenail on both feet and they grow back every time, I handle it myself since I have a huge fear of doctors and I rather not have half of or all of my whole toenail cut off.

  34. My left big toe is the one that's misbehaving. But that tool you got digging in between her skin and nail is what I desperately neeeeed.i have watched tons of ingrown toenails videos and I am prepared for the pain. It's just super satisfying for me. I'm pain tolerate for this.

  35. Sorry everyone, but an ingrown nail nipper does that without the pain. I’ve been a nail tech for over 25 years and all of my ingrown customers stop going to the podiatrist because they hurt and make the nail look terrible. I get them out with no pain and no nail deformity with ingrown nail nippers. I’ve tried the black file and it HURTS!!! There’s no reason. I have one serious ingrown myself that I can get out easily with my ingrown nippers.

  36. All I do it right when it happens I go to the bath room, grab the nail scissors and tweezers and than I just push the skin back with the scissors grab the nail with the tweezers and pull it out, (pull hard the roots of the nail will come out, this will hurt right away but after 30 seconds it’s so much better). The next day it can get a lil sore but it’s never lasted more than 2 days and the ingrown is gone

  37. Yeah, but try working with nails hard as horns, and curving down, growing oh into flesh = pain. Like you'll need a grinder to cut a quarter of the nail off.

  38. I LOVE YOU TOE BRO!! I had three tiny ingrown toenails that were beginning to bother me. I made a tiny vertical vertical clip at the corner from f the nail and then preyed the tiny ingrown nail bit out of the corner since the ingrown parts were hidden. By using the tool pick I just wiggled the edge out the f the corner and they came loose and chipped off. The relief was so satisfying. I decided to lookup tutorials and fix them before they got infected with puss. I was about to visit a podiatrist and no longer have to. Love you bro!!!!!!

  39. Are you a podiatrist or nail tech? IJA because I can remove ingrown toenails and leave the nails aesthetically pleasing☺. IJS

  40. My nail has been hurting for a few months now and it’s not gone…I don’t want to go to a doctor so ……

    I’m scared

  41. I’ve been having ingrown toenails since I was little and I currently have 2 on my 2 big toes. Idk if I should use this video for everyday cutting because it’s says in the beginning of the video that it’s not medical advice. I just don’t know how to prevent it from happening.

  42. Have you ever watched the Meticulous Manicurist channel? She has great techniques for addressing ingrown and impacted nails. She deals extensively with addressing spikes.

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