toenail, ingrown

Basically, toenails ingrow because of improper toenail care. Toenails, and especially the nails of the great toes, should be trimmed square across with toenail clippers and not clipped or torn off to create rounded corners. Pressure of the toe upwards on the corner of the nail prevents it from curving further downward and cutting into the flesh of the nailbed. If the corners of the nails of the great toes are kept square, we just don't see ingrowing in common pediatric practice.

Ingrown toenails are easiest to cure when not too severe - generally before infection and additional swelling occurs. Instruction in the office about proper nail hygeine and perhaps some soaking can head off problems before they are too severe. However, once significant infection and swelling set in, oral antibiotics and even a trip to the podiatrist for partial nail removal may be necessary. Some teens have chronically ingrowing nails that just don't respond to any advice we have short of surgical management.

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