Tag Archives: ingrown toenails

Proper Toenail Care for Your Children

Every child has a favorite pair of shoes they will wear over anything. Have they ever worn that pair until they were too tight and squeezing their toes? Likely! Has this behavior increased the risk of ingrown toenails? Likely as well!

Properly fitting shoes are imperative to maintaining healthy and happy feet, especially during the main growth phases, but there are other factors to consider. Addressing these factors early on is key for prevention. We recommend parents adhere to the following actions:  

  • Trim the toenail straight across.
  • Do not cut the toenail too short.
  • Do not curve the nails or round off the nail.
  • Do not pick or tear the nail.
  • Avoid tight narrow shoes or poor fitting shoes.

We recommend regularly inspecting your child’s feet, especially when they begin trimming their own toenails. If your child experiences pain when walking, redness or anything resembling a blister near the toenail, we recommend considering medical attention. Depending on the severity of the case, your podiatrist may recommend potential home remedies to ease the pain:

  • Soaking their foot in warm soap water for 20 minutes, 2 to 3 times a day.
  • Gently rubbing around the swollen cuticle and angle the nail upwards while soaking.
  • Over-the-counter cream, gel or toe protectors.
  • Wearing open-toed shoes.
  • Place a thin piece of gauze around the toenail if closed toed shoes are required.

More severe cases may cause infections and require minor surgical procedures or medication. In any case, we want your child to rock their favorite pair of shoes at any time, so stock up with larger sizes whenever possible to guarantee that perfect fit!

Ingrown Toenails: Treatment

We have previously talked about causes, identification and prevention of ingrown toenails, but in this blog we would like to address the treatment of ingrown toenails.

There are several treatment options ranging from home remedies to surgical procedures. Mild cases may be remedied at home by soaking your toes in warm water and applying antibiotic ointment. We do recommend coming in for an appointment if symptoms like pain, redness and swelling do not disappear within 48 hours.

Prolonged symptoms or drainage from the side of the toenail indicates a level of severity that requires professional treatment. Waiting for symptoms to disappear will only increases the risk of infection which comes with a range of additional complications, especially when diabetics are affected.

Professional treatments include, but are not limited to:

  • Lifting the toenail with cotton to ease pressure
  • Wrapping the nail in silk to protect infected areas
  • Trimming the edge of the affected toenail
  • Removal of specific areas of the toenail as preventative measure
  • Prescription of oral antibiotics
  • Removal of the entire infected nail and tissue in serious cases
  • Chemical treatment to permanently prevent ingrown toenails

The final treatment plan depends on a variety of factors, which is why it is crucial to be open and transparent with your podiatrist. Let them know about:

  • The length of time you have suffered from your condition and the pain level over this span of time
  • Your history of ingrown toenails or any other foot-related conditions
  • Home treatments you used or consider using
  • Permanent health conditions like diabetes or being a bleeder
  • Allergies or sensitivities against treatment materials or prescriptions
  • Relevant footwear habits affecting the toes (heels, steel-toe boots, etc.)
  • Hobbies and professions requiring mobility and balance (athletics, roofing, etc.)

Do not wait for the pain to get worse and for the infection to set in. Contact Dr. Smith’s office for an appointment.

Getting Back on Your Feet

Many of us are adapting to different daily routines. Some work more than ever, others found a new work-life balance allowing them to better focus more on their personal well-being. Creating new workout routines to stay active has become a common trend not only for people working out on a regular basis. We want you to know we are still available if you have any questions on how to get back on your feet – literally.

Are you new to running and started to experience a burning sensation or numbness? This may be caused by incorrectly sized shoes or shoes that are not made for running. Inform yourself about appropriate gear prior to starting a new workout to genuinely enjoy your new hobby. The same applies to any other sport, so don’t overcommit to too many new activities since each requires specialized, and potentially expensive, equipment.

If any of your new workout routines still cause any foot pain, we recommend to first check for ingrown toenails.  These are often caused by injuries, infections, improper trimming, or excessive pressure on the toes. We provide quick evaluations and treatments ranging from chemical to surgical.

Even if you are not making any changes to your daily routine, now may be a good time to assess your fitness goals and to address any foot concerns that didn’t seem relevant just a couple of months ago. A quick treatment may save you much trouble down the road when damage cannot be reversed that easily anymore. Check out the links below for more information on some common foot issues:

Keep in mind that healthy feet will also help with daily activities. They allow you to spend time at the lake, wear your favorite high heels, get your weekly grocery shopping done, and be active with your friends and family.

4 Common Children’s Foot Health Problems

We regularly blog about podiatric issues in adults, but it is crucial to keep an eye on our children’s foot health too. Many foot issues affecting adults, also happen in children. Some of them occur more frequently, because their bodies are constantly growing. Some of the more common foot issues include; ingrown toenails, plantar warts, flat feet and heel pain.

Ingrown toenails are when the toenail grows into the skin of the foot causing pain and sometimes even an infection. Children may experience this more often, because they tend to wear tight fitting shoes as their feet grow out of their shoes.

A plantar wart is more specifically known as a skin lesion on your foot, which is caused by a virus. It is often mistaken for a callous, because of its similar appearance.  However, the subtle difference is identifiable by the black dots seen in the infected area. The most common spot for this infection is on the sole of your foot, because it is the most prone to micro-trauma throughout the day. Because this virus thrives in warm wet environments, one of the most common methods of picking it up is after walking barefoot at a pool.

Flat feet are also referred to as “Pes planus” and they are defined as feet with little to no arches. Most children experience flat feet due to developmental changes which are likely to be outgrown.  However, you child should be treated by a professional if he or she experiences foot or leg pain, difficulty walking or if one foot is flatter than the other. Many people with this condition experience no negative symptoms, though the condition should be monitored for changes.

Another common issue to look out for is plantar fasciitis. This creates pain on the bottom of the heel after activity or rest. It is even more common among children with Sever’s disease, which occurs in active children age 8-14. Another cause for heel pain is when the calf muscles and Achilles tendon tighten during growth spurts.

It is important to make sure you and your children get these foot problems treated right away if you feel like you may be experiencing any of these conditions. After all they’re using those feet continuously and more use does make problems worse. For more information, click here and even here.