Preventing Ingrown Toenails In Children

toenailIngrown toenails are a common condition and are seen in patients of all ages, including children. A few reasons children can experience an ingrown toe nail is due to wearing a pair of shoes that are too tight, tight socks and incorrect trimming of the nails. Children may also inherit toenails that have the tendency to curve in or look C-shaped.

Many doctors have treated a child who has had an ingrown toenail that they have kept hidden from their parents even though the condition can cause significant pain. If not treated properly and quickly the ingrown toenail may lead to a serious infection.

Parents can help prevent ingrown toenails in their children by following a few simple tips:

  1. Teach children how to trim their toenails properly. Follow the contour of the toe and avoid trimming too short. You do not want to cut the nail straight across leaving sharp edges.
  2. Make sure children’s shoes fit properly. Shoe width and length are very important. There is to be a thumbs width from the end of the longest toe to the end of the shoe. The width also needs to be wide enough so their feet are not cramped into the shoe unnaturally.
  3. If a child does develop a painful ingrown toenail you can soak the toe in warm room temperature water and Epsom salt until the child can be seen by a doctor. You may also apply Neosporin on the painful said of the nail.
  4. It is important to see a podiatrist right away so the ingrown toenail can be removed and treated properly. You should never try to dig the nail out or cut it back further. Home care without the advice of a doctor can lead to an infection and further pain and discomfort for the child.

Call Dr. Hollander as soon as you notice your child is having pain from an ingrown toenail and remember that it is important that you do not try to “fix” the nail yourself, 707-578-1222.

Jessica, P.M.A.

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