Tips to Prevent & Treat Children’s Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are extremely painful, but relatively easy to prevent with some simple steps- wonderful news for parents with children in intense pain from ingrown toenails!

Every year we see ingrown toenails on a regular basis in children. Often, parents are befuddle on how they occur, and what to do to prevent or treat them.  In my practice, I advise that the first thing you should look at are your children’s shoes and socks and their nail cutting practices.  More often than not, if ingrown toenails don’t run in your family, ill-fitting shoes and improper nail trims are the culprits behind a painful ingrown toenail.

It’s also important to know that many kids hide their ingrown toenails from their parents, even though the condition can cause significant pain. Over time, the nail may break the skin and lead to dangerous infections. The ACFAS gives these recommendations to help parents prevent ingrown toenails in their children.

Tip #1 Teach children how to trim their toenails properly. Trim toenails in a fairly straight line, and don’t cut them too short.
Tip #2 Make sure children’s shoes fit. Shoe width is more important than length. Make sure that the widest part of the shoe matches the widest part of your child’s foot.
Tip #3 If a child develops a painful ingrown toenail, parents can reduce the inflammation by soaking the child’s foot in room-temperature water and gently massaging the side of the nail fold.
Tip #4 The only proper way to treat a child’s ingrown toenail is with a minor surgical procedure at a doctor’s office. Parents should never try to dig the nail out or cut it off. These dangerous “bathroom surgeries” carry a high risk for infection. Doctors may prescribe antibiotics to children with infected ingrown toenails.

ingrown toenail

Additionally, I advise parents to check their children’s feet on  a regular basis, as catching an ingrown toenail early can spare your child from having to endure the pain further.

If your child has an ingrown toenail, contact Dr. Weinert’s office in Troy at 248-362-3338 or his Warren office at 586-751-3338.  You can also get more information on his website at, where you can also request a copy of his FREE book Stop Feet Pain Fast.