If your child is complaining of pain and redness in a toe, he or she might have an ingrown toenail. An ingrown toenail, a condition where the toenail grows into the skin of your toe, commonly occurs in children.
Ingrown toenails are extremely painful and have the potential to become infected when left untreated. Dr. Thomas Rambacher, DPM, the primary podiatrist at Podiatry Hotline in Alisa Viejo, California, shares what to do if your child develops an ingrown toenail.
Ingrown toenail symptoms in children
Ingrown toenails are often very painful. If your child complains of continuous localized pain in a toe when walking or sitting, check the area to see if there are other indicators of an ingrown toenail.
Often, the area right by the ingrown toenail appears swollen and feels tender, and you can usually see the nail improperly growing into your child’s skin. Sometimes, there will also be redness and a discharge or pus present. Pus and redness can indicate the ingrown toenail is infected.
Home treatment for your child’s ingrown toenail
When your child’s ingrown toenail is minor, it’s sometimes possible to treat it at home without seeing our doctors. Begin home treatment as soon as you discover the ingrown toenail.
Several times a day, soak your child’s foot with the ingrown toenail in a warm foot bath. You can carefully and gently raise the edge of your child’s ingrown toenail away from the skin and tissues. Additionally, make sure your child wears loose, comfortable shoes, and protect the area by putting a thin piece of gauze around it while your child wears shoes.
When to see a doctor for your child’s ingrown toenail
If your child’s ingrown toenail shows signs of being infected or doesn’t respond to at-home treatment, it’s time to make an appointment at Podiatry Hotline. At the initial appointment, our doctors perform a full evaluation of your child’s ingrown toenail and recommend the best course of treatment.
If your child’s ingrown toenail is infected, our doctors prescribe antibiotics. They might also remove part of your child’s toenail, an outpatient procedure that takes place in the office.
For particularly stubborn or recurring ingrown toenails, our doctors can do laser therapy. This cutting-edge treatment removes the root of your child’s ingrown toenail with technical precision.
Preventing further ingrown toenails in children
Recurring ingrown toenails are uncomfortable and frustrating for children, so after getting your child’s ingrown toenail treated, take measures to prevent another one from developing. Check your child’s footwear, and if needed buy new shoes that are not tight or fitted around the toes.
Many ingrown toenails develop from trimming nails improperly, so be sure you and your child learn the correct technique. Cut toenails straight across, and avoid cutting the nail too close to the skin.
Our skilled team of doctors works with patients of all ages, taking a compassionate and age-appropriate approach to solving foot and ankle problems. If your child has an ingrown toenail that won’t go away, you can make an appointment online now for your child, or give Podiatry Hotline a call.