Ingrown toenails happen when the corner edge of your toenail starts invading the skin on the side of your nail bed. The area becomes red and inflamed. Infection can set in. You may think that ingrown toenails only affect feet that have been around for many years right? Not true! They’re actually pretty common in very young feet, too. And they can be really painful at any age.
A young child can verbalize if he has pain in any of his toes. You might also notice him walking funny, so don’t hesitate to inspect his feet. With a baby, any contact with a sensitive ingrown toenail will probably evoke wails and tears, so be alert to problems when bathing her or changing her socks and shoes.
The outstanding podiatrists at Montgomery Foot Care Specialists, Heidi M. Christie, D.P.M. and Michael L. Rosenberg, D.P.M., can pinpoint a number of causes of ingrown toenails in children, and ways to deal with them:
- Look at your own toes and ask yourself if it’s possible that your child inherited a tendency for her nails to curve downward. You can’t change genetics, but having a general awareness of such a tendency will help you and your offspring remember to take steps to prevent ingrown toenails.
- Poor trimming. Whether your child’s toenails are naturally curved or not, it’s important always to trim their nails straight across. Don’t cut them too short, either, as this can encourage ingrown toenails. As your children get older, teach them the importance of proper toenail trimming and they’ll make it a habit.
- Shoes that are too tight. Tight shoes put pressure on the toes, which means pressure on the nails as well. Nails grow inward rather than outward simply because there’s no where else for them to go. Check your children’s shoes often for signs that they’ve outgrown them. While you’re at it, check that their socks aren’t too small either.
Keep a close eye on any redness or swelling in your child’s toes. If you notice any discharge with a nasty odor, chances are they’ve got an infection. Bring them to our podiatry office in Montgomery, where our doctors can alleviate your child’s pain and suffering. If ingrown toenails are a common occurrence in your child’s life, a full examination can rule out any toe deformities. Make an appointment online or give us a call at (334) 396-3668.