5 Tips to Help Your Child’s Ingrown Toenail
An ingrown toenail can be a painful problem for a little one. In this condition toenail (usually the one on the largest toe) gets pulled or pushed into the surrounding fleshy skin. For starters, they may be dealing with redness, swelling, and extreme tenderness that can cause pain with even a light touch. Go a week or two without treating it, and it can get even worse—maybe even lead to an infection! Fortunately, as a parent you have some options. Here’s a quick checklist of how you can help ease their pain and keep it from happening again as best as possible.
- Check their shoes. When it comes to kids, tight shoes are a frequent cause of ingrown toenails. Because their feet grow so fast, a pair that fit last month might already be too cramped! Keep them in roomy shoes, or even sandals if the weather permits it.
- Soak their feet. For a minor ingrown toenail, soaking your child’s feet twice per day in warm salt water for about 20 minutes helps relieve much of the pain. After the soak, dry thoroughly and apply an antibiotic cream.
- Gently prop the nail. If you wish, you can place a clean piece of dry cotton or dental floss under the ingrown edge of the nail to relieve some of the pressure. Make sure you change this at least twice per day.
- Cut their nails carefully. Another common cause of this condition? Nails that get cut too short. The next time you trim, make sure you leave a little length on the end. Don’t curve the nails either—go straight across.
- See us if the ingrown toenail is severe or doesn’t improve. If your child is still experiencing pain after several days, or you notice any signs of infection, please take your child to see the team at the Foot and Ankle Center of Oklahoma. We want to help your little one get better fast and avoid a nasty infection!
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