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Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic

Why Children Develop Ingrown Toenails

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How children develop ingrown toenailsIngrown nails may sometimes be thought of as a problem mostly faced by athletes and older adults, but the truth is it affects people of all ages, including children. If you’ve ever had a little one with an ingrown toenail—especially one that was swollen, painful, or infected—you may wonder how you can prevent future recurrence.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is it the shoes? Kids’ feet grow rapidly, especially those under 3 years old or experiencing an adolescent growth spurt. In fact, they may grow so fast that a once-fitting pair of shoes may already be too small well before they physically wear out. Shoes that crowd the toenails are particularly likely to cause pediatric ingrown toenails, so make sure you’re checking your child’s shoe size regularly and upgrading as necessary.
  • Is it the way you trim? Toenails that are trimmed too short, or along a curve, may be more likely to dig into the skin as they grow out. Always cut your child’s toenails straight across, from corner to corner, while leaving a little bit of length on the end. Teach them to do the same when they’re ready to handle the clippers themselves.
  • Is it an injury? An ingrown toenail could be the result of trauma. This could be a singular acute injury, like a stubbed toe, or repetitive trauma, such as kicking a ball over and over again.
  • Is there a family history? Some people just naturally have very rounded toenails that are more susceptible to becoming ingrown. If mommy, daddy, big sister or big brother struggled with ingrown toenails, your littlest one is at statistically greater risk, too.

Fortunately, we offer a few relatively simple options to help combat pediatric ingrown toenails (and we do our best to make the experience a pleasant one for your child—or at the very least, not so scary). These include gently lifting the nail, or removing the affected part of it under local anesthesia.

You definitely want to get any problems fixed before the nail has a chance to get infected, so bring your child in to see Dr. Darren Silvester at Next Step Foot & Ankle for treatment. To schedule an appointment at one of our 3 Greater San Antonio podiatry offices, give us a call today toll free at 855-972-9512.

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