I have a new record for the youngest patient in my Houston podiatry office....ready?
6 months old!!!
Ok, the title gave that answer away and possibly even why you're reading this now. I just say a baby who has been suffering with painful, inflamed, and infected ingrown toenails almost since he was born. He had been seen by a number of doctors who all told him the same thing....to soak his foot in warm water.
This poor baby was hurting! As I reached for his foot, he instinctively pulled it away. It was a nasty ingrown toenail on both great toes. I felt his pain!
Infant's nails are different than adults. They are thinner and more pliable. They are more easily filed than trimmed and often grown in odd directions. Because of the flexibility, however, it is not common for them to be as infected as in this case.
When I see an adult with an infected ingrown toenail, the best way to care for it is usually with a procedure to remove the ingrowing portion of the nail from the skin. With children this young, however, a procedure is not usually necessary. Some topical antibiotics, along with some other recommendations, is all it will take.
The main culprit for this baby's ingrown toenail? Wearing shoes! Infants and toddlers who are not yet walking do not belong in structured shoes. Socks and soft booties are fine, but a regular shoe or sandal is not....even if it matches the outfit. Access to the feet is important in a baby's development and helps the child learn to walk on schedule.
If your beautiful baby boy or girl starts to cry every time you check out his toes, bring him to Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider for an immediate, and pain-free, visit.
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