Treatment & Prevention Of Ingrown Toenail In Toddlers
An ingrown toenail implies a nail which is growing into the skin. There could be an in-growth in any toe, but most often, this happens to the big toe in the foot.
How do you spot Toddler Ingrown Toenail
An ingrown toenail in toddlers can be painful. If you notice your toddler wincing each time he (or she) puts on his shoes, or complains that his foot hurts,or just cries pointing at his foot, you should examine his toes to check if it is an...
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...ingrown toenail that's bothering him. Typically, the area around that toe will red and slightly swollen. In fact, if you lightly press the area around the toe, it'll be hard. Be careful when you touch the toe, as it could be painful for your toddler. If the ingrown toenail becomes infected or inflamed then a blister will develop. This is pretty distinctive as the blister has clearly visible white or yellow fluid. It’s best if the blister is broken forcibly as there could be pus and this will only increase the infection and the pain.
Also, you'll notice that the swelling around the toe increases as the ingrown toenail grows.
How to treat Toddler Ingrown Toenail
Toddler's ingrown toenail needs to be treated delicately. For a start, soak your child's feet in lukewarm, soapy water. Ensure the water is not hot. Warm water gives relief to the toe and the soap will clean out any dirt that might aggravate infection. Do this a couple of times a day; it shouldn't be tough as kids like messing around in water anyway.
Once the toe is soaked, pat it dry and apply an over-the-counter ointment on the infected area. Usually, by doing this, in a few days, the problem is resolved.
In the meanwhile, ensure your child wears loose fitting shoes and preferably no socks, as the fabric could get caught in the nail and cause a lot of pain. Indoors, it's best to let your toddler be barefoot.
If it appears that your toddler is in a lot of pain then you could give him a painkiller like acetaminophen. Do not give a child aspirin, as it can trigger fatal consequences in kids.
Another thing you could do is to try and insert a cotton or gauze between the ingrown nail and skin. But you will have to be exceedingly gently. Use your own nails very cautiously to insert the gauze, just a tiny bit. But you will have to replace this several times a day. It can be a tedious affair as your toddler is bound to make a fuss. Therefore, this is easier to implement during your child's naptime.
How to prevent Toddler Ingrown Toenail
As long as your toddle's nails are trimmed and filed at all times, he won't have to worry about ingrown toenails. It is also advisable to not make your child wear extremely snug fit or tight shoes and/or socks as these also contribute to ingrown toenails in toddlers.
It's important to not curve the toenails. They need to be cut across, with a nail clipper rather than scissors and with a little white showing.
When to call a doctor for Toddler Ingrown Toenail
If you've been doing some home treatment on your toddler's ingrown toenail for over a week without any improvement, then it's time to take him to the doctor. Also, if the toenail appears to be infected and inflames, or if there is a blister with fluid discharge, then take your toddler to the doctor immediately.
Usually doctors prescribe antibiotic ointments and medication. In certain cases, depending on the severity of the infection, the doctor may need to cut the nail or a portion of it from the skin. In certain rare cases, if the problem is extremely severe, your toddler may also be referred to a pediatric podiatrist (child feet specialist).
However, these are worst-case scenarios. You only need to ensure your toddler's foot hygiene is maintained and you may well get away with not having to face this problem at all.