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Ingrown Toenails in Children

An ingrown toenail is one of the most painful conditions we see in our office.

It can be especially distressing when a child gets one.

Luckily, it’s also one of the easiest conditions to fix.

Ingrown Toenail Causes For Children

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.

Gentle, Children-Friendly Ingrown Treatment

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.

Ingrown Toenail Prevention

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.

If you are experiencing foot pain, call our office or make an online appointment


Absolutely amazing staff! Smiling faces, compassion and understanding! Couldn’t have asked for a better experience!

Amanda Rugg

I was frankly shocked at how good they were at EVERYthing. They saw me less than 2 hours after I called. Dr. Barko was ebullient and professional. You can ask them questions via TXT, which is huge. Their offices are spic-n-span and modern. Basically, they're knocking it out of the park. I don't wish for more in-grown toenails, but if it happens, I'm going straight back to Lexington Podiatry.

Mick Jeffries

I love Lexington Podiatry! The staff is always so helpful, and attentive. I love Dr. Freels. She is top notch, and is always so happy to see me, and listens to me about what is going on.

Amie Castle

Dr. Carter diagnosed and created a treatment plan in minutes- other podiatrists have treated me incorrectly for years. So pleased to have answers and solutions.

Katy Perkins

My left foot had been hurting for a while. The staff and doctors here are all quite knowledgeable and professional, as well as friendly and personable. My diagnosis was promptly made, x-ray completed right there in the office, and I left with the two braces that I needed. No waiting for the mail, trip to brace shop, nada. Most excellent clinic!

Susan Bell

Accepted Insurance Providers

There may be providers, plans and coverage not included on this list. We will help you with navigating the options for coverage and costs. We also accept HSA, Flex accounts, Care Credit and prompt pay pricing for treatment at the clinic and surgical procedures. We do not accept Medicaid or CareSource plans at this time. Visit our New Patient page for more details.