Ingrown toenails are a common problem for kids and teenagers. While ingrown toenails are rarely life threatening, at-home fixes or “bathroom surgery” can often lead to potentially serious complications making it more painful, leading to infection of the skin or underlying bone and possible toe deformity.
Ingrown toenails occur when the corners or sides of the nail curve and grow into the soft tissue of the toe. Most commonly children with ingrown toenails will notice swelling and redness in the toes, especially the big toe, and may complain of pain when wearing shoes. If your child has an ingrown toenail, the best treatment is to soak the foot in warm soapy water and make sure their shoes are the right size and fit. If these steps don’t do the trick, it’s important to schedule an appointment with our office for examination and treatment. Never try to cut away the ingrown part of the nail as it could make things worse. If ingrown toenails are a frequent issue for your child, a surgical procedure may be needed to remove a portion of the nail.
Here are ways to help your child avoid ingrown toenails:
• Keep his or her feet clean
• Cut toenails straight across—do not round off the corners
• Never allow toenails to grow longer than the tip of the toe
• Avoid having your child wear hand-me-down shoes
• Make sure the shoe’s toe box is wide enough to avoid crowding the toes.