So you want to know, “Is toenail removal painful, or not?” First, a backstory
I just very recently had the nail of my big toe pulled off, so I can definitely give you my first hand experience to answer the question of “Is toenail removal painful?”
From having my nail pulled yesterday, I can tell you that it does not hurt in the beginning. However, not long after that, it HURTS a LOT!
I’ll be going into how much pain I was experiencing in a moment in a Video below. However, first I want to delve into a backstory of why I had my nail pulled in the first place.
Also, I have a product list at the end of this post of things I used myself after getting my toenail removed.
Anyways, about 2 months ago, I was visiting my sister’s house and staying over the night.
During the night, I got up to walk around. It was dark and I wasn’t entirely aware of where I was stepping.
SUDDENLY, as I brought my foot forward, it JAMMED directly into a wooden leg of the bed.
Let me tell you, it’s good there were no children around, as I was THIS close to screaming ‘F’ bombs to the high heavens!
After jamming my toe, it was bruised and bleeding and swollen. It certainly wasn’t a pretty sight. Even after applying ice to my toe and elevating it for over an hour that night, it was still pretty inflamed. The next day, this is roughly what my toe looked like. Only, it was significantly more red and inflamed.
Not long after this incident occurred, I was scheduled to have foot surgery. Although my nail was slightly yellow, I didn’t think this was an issue….
I WAS WRONG!
The last moment before I was wheeled into the surgery room, my surgeon cancelled on me. She told me I had a possible fungal infection and I would have to get my toenail looked at before I could get the surgery.
So that’s what I did yesterday. I went and saw my Podiatrist to get my toenail looked at.
My experience getting my toenail removed at the Podiatrist
Before I saw my Podiatrist, my toenail was in very slight pain. I had a suspicion that perhaps there was a slight infection there.
When I saw him, he mentioned a phrase to me that I didn’t want to hear….he said, “We’re gonna have to remove that nail.”
At this moment, I was filled up with dread. I had SEEN videos of this being done on YouTube and DID NOT LIKE what I saw!
Essentially, he said the nail looked suspicious and it needed to be sent out to the lab to have a biopsy done on it.
Knowing that I needed this done in order to get my surgery in the future, I grudgingly agreed with his decision.
At this moment, he pulled out a LARGE needle. He said he was going to use Lidocaine to numb my toe.
Let me tell you, when he was using this needle on me, he was sticking it ALL throughout my foot! He must have pierced my foot 4 different ways with it.
A short while after that, my toe was entirely numb and I felt nothing.
At this point, they covered my toe in Betadine, which is a brown colored solution used to kill germs.
When my toe was covered with Betadine, this is what it looked like.
At this moment, my Podiatrist pulled out some specialized tool used to pull nails.
It was at this point where I blurted out, “Is toenail removal painful?”
He assured me that it wasn’t painful (I found out later this was not entirely true!)
I asked him just one more time to be sure, “Is toenail removal painful?” He said to look away and I wouldn’t feel it.
So I looked away and about a minute later, the nail was removed. Boy, was I breathing heavily during that whole time though! It was almost like I was giving birth!
Upon removing my toenail, it was quite bloody, so I won’t subject you to a picture of that.
Quickly after removing my toenail, he wrapped up my toe heavily in gauze, which you can see in the picture below.
ALTHOUGH getting the nail directly removed was not painful, afterwards was a whole other story!
“Is Toenail Removal Painful?” It is AFTER you get it removed!
Although I was pleasantly surprised it did NOT hurt to have the nail removed, what comes after is no picnic!
About 10 minutes after, I began feeling a steadily increasing throbbing and burning sensation in my toe.
It was quite a NASTY feeling! Because my toe was below my heart and because so much blood was rushing to the area, my toe was THROBBING!
And let me tell you, it was getting more and more painful. By the time I drove home, I popped in an Advil. After that, I laid back on a couch to rest my foot on a pillow and elevate it. Despite doing all that though, there was still a powerful throbbing, burning sensation I was feeling.
In fact, that night when I went to sleep, it took me 20 minutes just to put a sock on! I did not sleep well either, as the pain kept me up most of the time.
That morning, I removed the gauze from my foot (O boy, that was painful!) and dunked my foot into a foot whirlpool bath filled with hot water and Betadine.
Although the water did hurt at first, it felt good! I kept my foot in there for 20 minutes. Afterwards, I delicately dried off my foot. Then, I applied Neosporin and a non-adhesive bandage over my big toe.
Read More & Video Down Below…
Is my toenail removal painful as I write this post the night after?
As I write this post the night after, I can say that now, FINALLY, the pain has died down rather significantly. It’s virtually the first 24 hours after you get your toenail removed that you experience the pain. Slowly, but steadily though, the pain decreases.
As I am writing right now, I only have a slight ache in my toe. Other than that, I feel pretty good.
So in response to your question of, “Is toenail removal painful?” I would best sum it up as follows.
It is NOT painful when you get it removed. The numbing injection works very effectively.
However, it is after you get the nail removed that you experience a steady increase in pain. I highly recommend you take something like an Advil if you are able to do so. You may want to elevate your foot above your heart too to keep swelling down.
While the pain may be significant for a short while after you get your nail removed, after 24 hours, the pain is down substantially.
Hopefully this post answered your questions and you learned from it!
For an overall summary of my toenail removal experience, watch my video below!
Products I Recommend Before Getting Your Toenail Removed
A Foot Spa Bath
I recommend a few things. The first thing is a foot spa bath that has heating features. My Podiatrist personally told me to put my foot in hot water with several teaspoons of Betadine solution in it for 20 minutes each day. Your Podiatrist may tell you something different, but this is what I was told to do.
A foot spa bath is useful because you can regulate the heat and it also has massage rollers at the bottom. It is VERY comfortable and I loved mine.
Betadine Antiseptic Solution
When the foot spa bath was filled with water and heated, I put several teaspoons of Betadine into the water. I did this because my Podiatrist told me to and I would ultimately listen to your Podiatrist. This solution is widely used though and is meant to prevent infections once your toenail is pulled. You certainly don’t want an infection after getting your toenail pulled!
You can buy Betadine from Amazon now!
Non Stick Bandages
Let me tell you, your toe is INCREDIBLY sensitive after the toenail is removed. Putting on a simple sock is an arduous task after you’ve had this done. So, can you imagine how painful putting a STICKY bandage on there would be? Removing a sticky bandage from a toe that just had the nail removed to me would feel like something out of the movie SAW! So if you’re wondering, “Is Toenail Removal Painful?”…it definitely will be if you do that!
After I soaked my foot in the foot spa bath filled with heated water and several teaspoons of Betadine for 20 minutes, I then had gently dry off my foot and big toe. Once I was sure it was fully dry, I then did another thing my Podiatrist told me to do, which was to use Neosporin ointment. Neosporin is essentially an antibiotic ointment that also provides slight pain relief. I would use a bit on my big toe, then cover it with a bandage.
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