For Children > Podiatry > Conditions > Ingrown Toenails
An ingrown toenail occurs commonly in children due to the following reasons:
Improper trimming of toenails, often by trimming the nail too short or too deep and leaving sharp edges which may get embedded into the skin when the nail grows.
Not changing out of smaller sized shoes as the feet grow. Tight-fitting shoes can compress the toes, which may lead to the nail growing abnormally with excessive pressure at the sides.
Prolonged wearing of shoes, which increases perspiration on the feet and softening of the skin, which a sharp nail edge may grow into. This is very common among sporty adolescent males.
Trauma or injury to the nail.
There can be inflammation and pain when a nail edge grows into the adjacent skin. It usually happens on the sides or the ends of the big toes, although it can happen in the lesser toenails as well. If left untreated, the inflamed area may become infected and discharge pus.
How can a Podiatrist help?
Our skillful and gentle podiatrists can effectively remove the protruding nail spike with as minimal pain as possible using special nail clippers. We will then need to monitor the subsequent nail growth to prevent recurrence.
Depending on the severity, the podiatrist can perform conservative management by regular trimming and filing of the nails and applying cotton packing on the nail borders. Advice will be given on how to manage your nails subsequently to prevent recurrence.
A podiatrist can also apply a strip of thin flexible “Curve-Correct” brace which behaves like a spring to straighten unusually curved nails, thereby preventing recurrence of the ingrown toenail.
Curve-Correct Nail Brace
If conservative management does not prevent recurrence of an ingrown toenail, nail surgery may be recommended. This involves removing the ingrowing section of the toenail and application of a caustic chemical to destroy the nail matrix. This prevents the offending nail from growing back.
It is important to address any ingrowing nail early to prevent further injury and infection. For most cases, conservative management and education on appropriate nail care will be adequate in managing ingrown toenails.
Let our podiatrists help with your child’s ingrown nails!