Ingrown toenails in kids is very common. This past week we had a number of babies and kids come in with ingrown nails. Many of these were recurrent problems and we were not the first doctors to provide treatment. They had visited their pediatrician and other podiatrists before finding their way to us. Treatment by the doctors included soaking
instructions, various antibiotic creams and ointments, and some had even cut part of the nail back. These are all sound methods of treatment, however, they failed to work in these particular cases.
What Causes Ingrown Toenails in Kids?
A lot of times the nail becomes ingrown due to pressure on the nail. Most likely you don’t even realize there’s pressure, but it could come from shoes, sleeping position, or the way your child walks. Eliminating these factors will be beneficial for long term correction of the problem. In addition, removing the entire offending border of the nail will alleviate pain. Cosmetically, you won’t even notice a difference in the way your child’s nail will look because the portion that is removed is the portion that is growing downwards into the skin. A chemical can be used to prevent the offending border of the nail from ever growing back. The procedure requires an injection to numb the toe, so if your child isn’t able to tolerate needles well, there are always alternate ways to sedate your child so he/she isn’t traumatized.
Some tips to prevent ingrown toenails in kids:
Cut your child’s nails straight across instead of following the curved shape of the nail. Avoid buying shoes that are too tight or stiff on top; this leads to pressure on the nail which can cause an ingrown. Pay attention to your child sleeping and resting position and alter it if necessary. And lastly, gently massage the skin around the nail downwards and away from the nail.