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


Staff was extremely friendly and professional. They took us back immediately and no waiting for doctor to come in. Dr Settles-Carter was amazing with my little girl. She took her time and explained every detail to my daughter. As we were leaving my little girl said Dr Settles-Carter was the best doctor ever. Coming from a 10yr old.

Bert King

It took some work, and patience, but my feet are much better now. Dr. Freels worked with me to find exercises, and more importantly, the right shoe to wear. So nice not to dread going into work, for the pain of simply walking. Despite what another review here says, they've never tried to sell me any shoes there, have always left the choice up to me.

Robert Griffith

The staff was very courteous. However, the care provided by Dr. Carter and the staff in the back was exceptional! I finally had answers for my health concerns and issues and a course or plan of treatment including the costs of the services they provide. I especially liked the hours of operation...I can see a doctor for the treatment I need without having to use my personal and sick days! Love the flexibility. Lastly, the ambiance esthetics were relaxing and beautiful.

Bonnie Ogle Taylor

The entire staff at Lexington Podiatry was very welcoming and friendly. Jill went out of her way to make sure my daughter was taken care of. We appreciate being seen so quickly (it would have taken weeks to have seen an orthopedist for her foot injury). Now, she is on the road to recovery! Great office, thanks everyone!

Team Wade 24

Had a great experience! Everyone was very nice, it was clean, the doctor took time to listen to me. She showed me my x-rays and explained them to me. I would recommend them to family and friends.

Heather Purvis

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 plans at this time. Visit our New Patient page for more details.