If the phrase “Mum, my toe hurts” is one that you’ve heard a few too many times now, then this is for you. Today we’re talking ingrown toenails and kids!
As many kids tell us when they come into the clinic, having an ingrown toenail “sucks”. It’s red, painful, swollen, it can have pus (exudate) down the infected nail edge – and it can make walking around, particularly in certain tighter-fitting shoes, very painful.
While we have a number of treatment options available to treat and alleviate the pain from ingrown toenails when they arise, there is definitely one thing that’s even better – stopping them from occurring in the first place!
But what causes ingrown toenails?
Well, generally speaking, ingrown toenails can be a result of:
- Improper nail cutting technique
- Curving the nails or cutting down the sides
- Tight footwear
- The shape of the nail
- Medical conditions or trauma to the toes/nails
- Genetic predisposition
But the MAIN cause that we see in KIDS (high school and under) is…
Picking the nails! That’s when the long nails are ‘pulled’ off instead of being cut off. While all too common for kids to do, this method can leave small ‘spikes’ in the nail, particularly down the side of the nail where they can’t see. This small spicule (the sharp bit) can penetrate the surrounding skin as the nail continues to grow and just like that you have an ingrown toenail!
Our professional recommendation is to not pick at the nail and to stick to the simple cut and file, making sure to cut in a straight line across the nail and not down the sides.
When an ingrown toenail does develop, however, we’re here to help! We can instantly and conservatively remove the painful nail spicule, or we can perform a minor procedure to permanently correct the ingrown toenail and stop it from coming back.
To book an appointment with our ingrown toenail experts, use our online booking form or give us a call on 09 523 2333.