We treat children's Ingrown Toenail
G

Patient Resources Download

About Ingrown Toenails

An ingrown toenail occurs when a sharp corner of the toenail is curved downward and grows into the skin, usually at the nail borders (the sides of the nail). This “digging in” of the nail irritates the skin, often creating pain, redness, swelling, and warmth at the spot where the nail curls into the skin.

If your child’s ingrown toenail is left untreated, the inflamed area can begin to grow extra tissue or drain yellowish fluid. If an ingrown nail causes a break in the skin, bacteria may enter and cause an infection in the area, which is often marked by drainage and a foul odour. However, even if your toe isn’t painful, red, swollen, or warm, a nail that curves downward into the skin can progress to an infection.

What Causes an Ingrown Toenail?

Ingrown toenails happen when the toenail has become cracked or frayed, forming sharp spikes that push into the skin and set up an infection.

When feet are hot they produce a lot of sweat. When feet spend a lot of time inside shoes (especially inside joggers and ‘sneakers’ with synthetic socks), the hot sweaty environment softens the toenail, making it more likely to break and form spikes. The provides an ideal environment for infection to start.

Tight, ill-fitting shoes, which press the skin at the side of the nail onto the sharp spike, also make the situation worse. Until the nail grows long enough so that the end is beyond the skin at the end of the toe, infections can come back even when they are treated.

If you want to avoid your child having problems with tight, ill-fitting shoes, we would recommend contacting The Little Shoe Company, who are specialist shoe fitters based near our clinic in Beeston.

Does your child have an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail is a nail that’s pressing or growing into the skin. The problem can show up on any toe, although the big toe is the one most commonly affected. A typical early sign is redness or swelling of the skin at the edge of the nail. Your child’s toe will be tender and possibly quite painful, especially when rubbed by a shoe or tight sock. If your child is old enough to talk, they may tell you that their foot hurts. Otherwise, they may cry and point to their toe or foot. You may also notice them limping or grimacing when they walk.

If an ingrown toenail gets infected, you’ll see a blister containing white or yellowish fluid, surrounded by reddened skin. If the blister breaks, there may be some discharge. The swelling or redness may increase as the nail grows.

Benefits of footcare for children’s ingrown toenail.

If your child has an ingrown toenail, your child will benefit from seeing one of our foot health professionals at We Fix Feet. In many cases, we can remove the offending nail spike quickly and painlessly in the initial appointment. You will then be given advice on nail cutting and what to do to prevent a recurrence.

Benefits include:

  • Reduction of pain
  • Removal of the offending piece of nail
  • Reduction of inflammation

Please contact your nearest We Fix Feet clinic at Beeston or Ilkeston to book your consultation for your children’s ingrown toenail.