In honor of Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Week, I’ll be looking at common childhood foot problems for the next few days. Today, we’ll focus on ingrown toenails, a major issue facing many of my younger patients.
An ingrown toenail is a problem that occurs when the edge of your child’s nail (usually the one on the big toe) grows into the skin around it. Not only will your child be in pain when this occurs, but he or she is also at risk of contracting an infection from the toenail’s unusual growth.
There are several different reasons why the nail might start growing into the skin instead of over it. Cutting the nail too short, rounding its edges or repeatedly stubbing your toe all are potential triggers for an ingrown nail. One of the most common reasons a child’s nail will become ingrown, however, is due to ill-fitting shoes.
Your child’s foot grows quickly and, as a result, he or she may be wearing too-tight shoes before you realize they need a new pair. Think of what this means: every day, your little one’s toes will be rammed, several times, against the hard edge of their shoes. If you accidentally trim his or her nails too short as well, an ingrown toenail could begin to develop.
Once you notice an ingrown toenail, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your Houston podiatrist immediately, since in-office treatment for the toe will depend on how far the problem has progressed.
One option includes an in-office procedure to remove the offending border of the nail; we’ll numb your child’s toe and remove a small portion of it. In some cases, we may have to take off the entire nail, but that is less common. In really advanced situations, where we see that the problem is recurrent, we may have to take measures to permanently destroy the nail root, but that would only be discussed if less invasive options didn’t provide relief.
Your child’s foot comfort and health is of utmost importance, especially since feet allow kids to do their most important jobs: play. If anything is affecting your son or daughter’s ability to walk, run or enjoy life, schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew Schneider for a comprehensive foot evaluation.