Kids & Ingrown Nails
Ingrown toenails when not treated correctly can become such a drawn-out saga, especially with kids. It occurs when the skin on the side of the nails grows over the nail or when the nail itself pushes into the skin. As kids are constantly running, jumping and playing it is very easy for them to contract a bacterial infection especially if the skin is pierced.
Ingrown toenails can develop for several reasons in children. The main culprits are poorly fitted shoes, genetics, trauma or incorrect nail cutting techniques.
-School shoes that are too tight can squash the toes and encourage the nail to press into the skin. It is very important to check the fit of socks and shoes regularly.
-Picking the nails or cutting nails too low into the corners are also more likely to develop and become ingrown.
-Stubbing the toes, dropping something on them or even sports that require tight shoes (ballet, soccor etc) causes trauma and increases the risk of infections.
-In some cases genetics play a big role, due to the shape of the nail plate some are more involuted making it far easier to develop ingrown toenails.
At Talaria we see many kids with painful ingrown toenails and often it can be managed without painful needles or invasive treatment. Treatment will depend on the severity of the ingrown nail and whether it is a reoccurring problem. Usually, a gentle clearing of the edge of the nail with sterile instruments can fix the toe, however nail surgery can be performed to alter the nail plate permanently if required.
It is very important to consider seeing a podiatrist to treat your child’s ingrown toenails first. We often hear many horror stories of parents jumping into having nail surgery from the GP instead of conservatively treating and following a Podiatrist’s recommendations. Nine times out of ten a surgery is not required, and the nail can be comfortably treated without local anaesthetic. The trauma for your child to undergo the procedure is usually not warranted and worst of all ineffective. As Podiatrists we treat ingrown toenails daily and pride ourselves on being the foot experts. There certainly is a place for nail surgery however it is often not the solution!