Ingrown toenails are annoying, and we’re almost all experienced them. They seem to come out of nowhere, and can linger for days or even weeks while the skin around them gets irritated and possibly even infected.
In most cases, you just have to wait it out, or see a podiatrist if the infection gets out of control (a bad infection on an ingrown toenail can cause a bone infection, which can lead to serious complications).
But now there’s a new invention that claims to be able to fix ingrown toenails: the Makizume Robo Ingrown Toenail Fixer”, a metal contraption that works by latching onto both sides of the ingrown nail and then gently pulling them upwards, making the nail flatter and less C-shaped.
The device isn’t cheap – it’s 315 dollars US – but the videos of it doing its work are certainly satisfying(1). “Don’t suffer over an ingrown toenail any longer,” says the website.
“With the Makazume Robo Ingrown Toenail Fixer you can manually straighten your painful ingrowing nails in around 30 minutes of self-treatment.”
People using the device are advised to leave it on for 30 minutes of self-treatment, after which they’re supposed to soak their feet in warm water for 20 minutes.
Ingrown Toenails: Where Do They Come From?
What causes ingrown toenails? According to a recent study conducted by physicians, there are many factors at play – from foot hygiene to posture to the way you cut your toenails. Even the type of shoes you wear can cause ingrown toenails.
According to these researchers, nail growth is a balancing act – if a nail grows too quickly, it can force the nails curvature to change, resulting in painful ingrown nails(2). However, if a nail grows too slowly, similar results can also take place. This may help explain why some people are prone to ingrown nails while others are not.
“We found by looking through the literature that pregnant women tend to get a lot of ingrown nails. Maybe 15 or 19 percent of pregnant women can get them, so it’s kind of common, said a researcher on the study in an interview with the Smithsonian(3).
“When you are pregnant, you have a lot of growth hormones active inside your body. Similarly, in children, there is a stronger element of growth happening.”
The takeaway for pedicure lovers? Make sure the person trimming your nails knows what they’re doing. Trimming a nail too short or changing the line of the nail can result in ingrown toenails.