Mum left in agonising pain after tiny black spot turns out to be giant ingrown toenail after botched pedicure

Mum left in agonising pain after tiny black spot turns out to be giant ingrown toenail after botched pedicure

A MUM-of-two was left in agonising pain after a mysterious black spot turned out to be a giant ingrown toenail after a botched pedicure.

Tiana Howden says her right big toe started to feel tender after having the routine spa treatment last month.

A mum is warning others after a tiny black dot on her toe turned out to be an ingrown toe nail
Mercury Press
Tiana Howden was left in agony after having a routine pedicure treatment
Mercury Press

But within days a tiny dark spot emerged and the pain had become so excruciating she couldn’t wear shoes and even the weight of her duvet at night was too sore.

The 39-year-old, from California, US, initially thought the nail technician may have accidentally stabbed her with a tool.

But when she went to see her doctor a few days later she was shocked to discover it was actually an ingrown toenail.

Tiana decided to share pictures of the her toe to help others spot the warning signs earlier after she needed painful treatment to remove it earlier this month.


The admin assistant said: “When I first saw the doctor put the ingrown nail on the medical tray I just stared at it.

“It boggled my mind how all that was hiding underneath my skin and I couldn’t believe it hadn’t hurt earlier.

“I think it was the deepest toenail he had ever seen because he was telling me how ingrown toenails usually curve underneath themselves but mine had grown straight down into the skin.

“He couldn’t believe that it hadn’t started hurting until just a few days before.

“My regular doctor even came down to see it and was looking at it in shock.”

The doc said it was the deepest toenail he had ever seen

Tiana Howden

She added: “Before that I really didn’t believe it was an ingrown toenail.

“That had never even entered my mind because I’ve never had any issues with my nails before and it didn’t make sense that I felt no pain whatsoever until I went to the nail salon technician in July.

“After I’d had my nails done, my toe started to feel tender and I really believed the technician may have accidentally stabbed my toe because a black dot appeared and it felt sore.

“But by the following Friday I could feel my heartbeat in my toe, I couldn’t wear anything but flip flops.

“That evening I couldn’t sleep because the weight of the duvet on my foot was so painful.”

Tiana in the hospital before having the ingrown nail removed from her big toe
Mercury Press
After the procedure, Tiana’s toe with the part that had ingrown removed
Mercury Press

Over the weekend following the pedicure, the pain became so bad that Tiana was struggling to walk.

It prompted her husband, Kent, 38, to book her a GP appointment for the Monday.

Tiana said: “By Monday it was very red and sensitive to touch but the worst was when I tried to walk on it – it felt like a severe stabbing pain.

“All the doctor had to do was take a quick look at it and he knew it was a bad ingrown toenail.

“He found me an appointment at the minor injuries clinic only minutes after I’d arrived and started ushering me down there straight away.”

Doctors had to numb Tiana’s foot before cutting away the skin at the side of her cuticle and pull the nail away from the bed with pliers.

I started breathing like I was in labour because it hurt so bad

Tiana Howden

She said: “I had to stare at a clock on the wall and started breathing like I was in labour because it hurt so bad.

“But once that was done I couldn’t feel a thing – I didn’t even know he had started working on my toe because I was busy texting my boss and my husband about what was going on.

“It was only when and he said ‘check it out’, I looked up and he had used an instrument that looked like pliers and simply pulled up the embedded nail and laid it on top of the side of my toe.

“I just looked at it in shock, I just thought ‘was that seriously in my foot?’.

“When I went home I looked online and I couldn’t find anything that looked like mine or was as deep as mine had grown.”

Tiana was given a course of antibiotics to help fight infection and advised to rest her foot.

Tiana was in disbelief that the pain could be an ingrown toenail
Mercury Press
Her toe has started to heal since the procedure earlier this month
Mercury Press


She’s also been told to keep a close eye on her nails in future to make sure they don’t start growing into her skin again.

The mum added: “The next day it felt like my toe was on fire but since then my recovery has been pretty good.

“It’s still a little sore but I’m walking normal again and I’m just happy it’s gone.”

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