The CurveCorrect ingrown toenail brace is a thin, reinforced composite strip you fasten to the surface of your toenail. The ingrown toenail brace acts like a spring, gently straightening and lifting each side of the toenail, reducing its pressure against the skin. Correction is painless and occurs over a period of weeks.
The ingrown toenail brace is intended for the big toe. With modification it can be used to treat ingrown toenails on other toes or even fingernails. We also offer toenail braces for these applications that require no modification. Be cautious with thin toenails, children's toenails and fingernails. A brace that corrects the toenail too quickly will cause pain. In these cases remove immediately and narrow the brace with scissors to reduce its stiffness.
Applying the ingrown toenail brace takes approximately five minutes per toenail. The application requires precision so if you have difficulty reaching your feet, ask someone for help. Others can perform the application themselves. The following guide will help you or someone else along.
Preparing Your Toenail
Trim your toenail if necessary before applying the ingrown toenail brace. Your toenail must be completely clean and free of contaminants like nail polish, ointment, bandage adhesive, sock fibers, pus, blood, etc. Clean the entire toenail including the ingrown area with soap and water. We suggest using a fine brush to reach into the toenail fold where contaminants collect.
Read through steps 1-9 below completely before beginning the application so you're prepared for each step.
What You Need
- The CurveCorrect ingrown toenail bracing kit.
- Sharp scissors (to cut the ingrown toenail brace to the correct length).
- A paper towel or cloth (to clean up excess adhesive or solvent).
- A place to sit that allows you or someone else to comfortably reach the affected toe(s).
Positioning the Toenail Brace
The ingrown toenail brace is positioned from side to side on top of your toenail. It should reach across the entire width of your toenail, including the portion that is ingrown for best results. Placement front to back will depend on where your toenail is curved. Look at the shape of your toenail from the front of your toe.
- If your toenail is evenly curved position the toenail brace centered front to back.
- If your toenail is unevenly curved (abruptly curved at the sides and relatively flat in the center) position the toenail brace where your toenail is more evenly curved. This will usually be further back.
- If you decide to place the ingrown toenail brace near the end of your toenail be sure to allow a small amount of room for future toenail trimming.
Step 1: Pre-Fit Brace
There are two steps in bonding the toenail brace: bonding the first end, then the second end. Position the first end on the side of the toenail most affected. This end of the toenail brace is required to lay flat against the toenail during this step. The angle of the brace will vary depending on the curve on this side of your toenail. Take note of this angle.
Step 2: Roughen toenail
To aid adhesion file the surface of your toenail all the way to its edge on both sides. Pay particular attention to where the toenail brace will be applied. Remove ridges and high spots to minimize gaps underneath the brace.
Step 3: Clean with Solvent
Dip a cotton swab into the solvent and wipe the entire surface of your toenail. Try to get deep into the nail groove where the brace will be applied. Allow to dry.
Step 4: Apply Adhesive to First End
Apply a small puddle of adhesive to one end of the ingrown toenail brace. The diameter of the adhesive puddle should be as wide as the brace and as deep as the thickness of the brace. Do not apply adhesive to the toenail. Be careful not to let the adhesive touch any other part of your body, it will bond immediately.
Step 5: Bond First End
Curing begins quickly so you must get the placement right immediately upon contact with your toenail. Position the first end of the toenail brace (adhesive end) where you pre-fit it in step 1 using the opposite end of a cotton swab. Hold the brace motionless for 30 seconds. Release and allow the adhesive to continue curing for 2 minutes.
Step 6: Ensure Correct Length
Bend the second end of the toenail brace to the opposite side of your toenail to find its correct length. Ideally it should reach all the way to the toenails edge. Carefully trim it to length with scissors while being careful not to stress the bond.
Step 7: Apply Adhesive to Second End
Apply adhesive underneath the second end of the ingrown toenail brace the same way you did the first end.
Step 8: Bond Second End
With one hand, press the ingrown toenail brace down against the top of the toenail to ensure there are no gaps underneath it. With the other hand and the opposite end of a cotton swab press the second end against your toenail and hold it motionless for 1 minute. Release.
Step 9: Finish
File any sharp edges that might snag your clothing. Make sure the ends of the brace do not extend beyond the sides of your toenail, this will cause pain. File down the ends of the brace if this occurs. Shoes and socks can be worn immediately.