Ingrown toenails are super common, but also really uncomfortable to live with. They can be caused by heredity, trauma, poor grooming or even the shoes you wear. The pressure from the curved edges of a toenail digging into the surrounding skin, onchyocryptosis (that’s the medical term for it) can lead to inflammation and pain, and leave your toenail susceptible to infection. A Japanese brand called Fine Hearts has a device that is gaining a lot of attention on social media for a video that shows how the simple gadget (it looks like winged corkscrew) can help reshape and treat ingrown toenails in 30 minutes.
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The video shows how the Makizume Robo tool works to manually straighten and reshape painful ingrown nails. To work the toenail back into its natural position, the Makizume Robo brace is fixed into place and the nail is repositioned followed by a soak in warm water for 20 minutes. Once the tool is loosened and detached, the now straightened toenail is dried into place with a hair dryer.
Although it might look like a torture device in a horror movie, Elmer, NJ, dermatologist, Ingrid Warmuth, MD, says it may be worth trying, but just getting the brace in place may be too difficult. “The mechanics of this device are very intriguing,” she adds. “I wonder how painful it will be to hook the nail plate edges into it, especially given that the nail might be an ingrown nail.”
If you’re suffering from an ingrown toenail that could possibly be infected, a trip to the doctor may be in order. But if you can want to reshape your nail for a time being, Dr. Warmuth doesn’t see the harm in giving it a shot as long as you know its limitations. “I definitely see the use of it, especially in difficult to treat nail conditions, such as pincer nails. But I would caution users treating themselves at home to consider how long the improvement will last and to be careful not to fracture the nail plate while you’re doing it.”