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Ingrown Nails and Dead Nails

"Common nail problems and what to do"
By: Dona P. CoradoIngrown Nails and Dead Nails

Ingrown nails can be very painful, so aesthetic and wellness expert Dr. Rhoda Espino says that one must be careful in trimming nails whether at home or in the salon. This applies especially to diabetic patients who are more prone to infection because their wounds take longer to heal. (Also, many diabetic patients don’t feel pain when they accidentally cut the skin around their nails, so they need to be more careful when cutting their nails).

Assuming there’s already an ingrown, Dr. Espino clarifies that the best person to remove it is not a manicurist, but a doctor. “It is a painful and bloody procedure so the patient must really go to the doctor to have it removed.”

Some say that if you jammed your finger in a car door, or if a heavy object falls on it, you might probably want to light a candle and pray for your dead nail—“patay na kuko.” It is another common nail problem medically termed subungal hematoma. It is characterized by a pool of blood under the nail and throbbing pain in the area. A nail “dies” because the injury, especially if it’s from a very strong force, adversely impairs the blood circulation and growth of nails. 

Contrary to what the term patay na kuko suggests, the nail still grows, only much longer than usual. The slang is actually a misnomer. Dr. Espino explains that like the ingrown, the affected nail must be removed only by a doctor. “You will see that there’s a blood clot and that must be pricked only by a doctor to release the pressure and help in the healing. The nail should be well taken care of. Unless it’s greatly injured, when you’ve removed the damaged part, it usually grows better.”

Dr. Espino shares that when she removes the damaged nail, she makes sure the nail bed is still intact. Removing the nails is very painful so she uses anesthetic nerve block to numb the area. “I usually do that in a setting with a lot of instruments because it’s a bloody procedure. Sometimes I don’t remove the whole nail, only the part that’s been greatly damaged.” 
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