An ingrown toenail is one of the most painful conditions we see in our office.
Luckily, it’s also one of the easiest to fix.
Remember, if the ingrown nail is infected, we want to see you the same day, if possible, to prevent further damage.
Ingrown toenails happen when the outer corner of the toenail, usually on the big toe, cuts into the skin as it grows.
It’s kind of like taking a sharp piece of glass gradually pushing it into your toe.
The toe will become inflamed, hurt a lot, turn red-hot and start leaking fluid.
It’s also important that you take an ingrown toenail seriously because fungus just loves to get into an open wound.
Ingrown toenails can quickly become too painful to wear shoes. Given the activity level of most kids, they should be dealt with quickly so they can get back on their feet and be free from pain.
If your child has an ingrown toenail, let our receptionist know when you call to make an appointment and she’ll get you in right away, usually the same day.
When you come in, we’ll first numb the toe before we do anything.
Don’t worry, we even numb the toe with a topical numbing cream and then use a cooling spray before we ever use any needles for the anesthetic, so they won’t feel a thing.
Most kids are shocked at how quickly the pain goes away with that cooling spray!
Once they can’t feel a thing, we’ll gently trim the nail so it stops cutting into their toe. Our providers are super calming to young patients!
Everything usually heals up quickly after that. In some persistent cases, we might even trim it down to the cuticle, but you won’t be able to tell because it will be hidden by the flesh that covers the side of the toenail.
We then apply a medication to the root of the nail so it doesn’t return.
To avoid more ingrown toenails down the road, it’s important to make sure your kids’ shoes fit properly. If their toes bump against the end of the shoe or they push the toes together, it could lead to more problems.
Soccer players are particularly susceptible because of the repetitive kicking, so pay extra attention to the fit of their cleats.
Also make sure to trim the toenails on a gentle curve, use a nail clipper instead of scissors, and trim at a length that will leave a thin white line at the end – not too short, and not too long.