Ingrown Toenail in Kids
Quite often parents face such problem as an ingrown toenail which has been found in children. It causes painful feelings along the margins of the nail, worsening of pain when walking. It’s a big mistake to leave this situation uncontrolled, because this may result in suppuration and inflammatory process which will require serious and long treatment.
If to realize it in time, it is possible to avoid such unpleasant consequences and to facilitate the child’s life in very few days. To avoid such troubles, it is necessary to know what factors can become the reason of the symptoms and try to save the child from them.
Causes Ingrown Toenail in Babies
Child’s ingrown toenail doesn't occur by itself, without the reasons. There are certain factors which can provoke its emergence.
Beside them are:
- avitaminosis, at which the organism lacks any biologically active agents and because of this edge of the toenail become uneven and may be overgrown toe skin - most often in these cases the child lacks calcium, zinc or phosphorus;
- insufficient care: parents don’t snip their baby’s nails properly, don't watch them closely enough, or do it very seldom - this is how the child’s ingrown toenail occurs most often before the age of one year;
- genetic susceptibility - occurs seldom, but it is the case when toenail grows down so that it cuts into both sides of nail bed;
- incorrectly picked up, ill-fitting footwear is the most common cause of ingrown toenail;
- fungal infections of nail plate can also provoke such defect;
- any contusion, unintentional trauma;
- flat foot, or club-foot.
This affection occurs most commonly with feet: in the nails of the hands such phenomenon meets rather seldom. Timely treatment of the grown children’s nails and correct care of them should help to avoid unneeded complications. If such defect has been noticed immediately, it is possible to overcome this misfortune at home. If ingrown toenail is noticed already as too deep penetration of the flesh and suppuration has begun, it is better to ask for the expert’s help.
Treatment Ingrown Toenail in Children
Parents have to know what to do if their child’s nail has grown into the skin, no matter on a hand or on a foot. It is necessary to take the appropriate steps not to allow damage of complete cover of tissue, and to keep a nail as much as possible and not to allow an infection to extend further. It can be done both at home, and by doctor’s means.
Home Methods of Treatment
It is recommended warm baths every day before going to bed. It is necessary to dissolve soda or salt in water (10 g on liter) and to add camomile decoction, potassium permanganate or furacilin solution. If the child has individual tolerance of essential oils, use such of them as bergamot and a tea tree oils to soften the skin. However, taking such baths has to be rather long, not less than 20-30 minutes. Therefore it is better for parents to consider in advance how to occupy the child during this time. Don't forget also to add warm water in the bath repeatedly.
In addition, treatment of the child’s ingrown nail at home may include application of night softening compresses. It is possible just after a warm bath to lay compresses with cow's milk or mutton fat oil on the problem place.
The ingrown part of the nail needs to be cut off. If a wound appears, it needs to be treated accurately with some disinfectant and anti-inflammatory means. Aloe juice, iodine or even alcohol would perfectly help that.
There is one more useful remedy: a piece of natural cloth (or simply usual wadded disk) impregnated by butter ought to be laid under slightly raised nail. It needs to be performed daily. It is recommended to level edges of ingrown nail with a nail file each three days. Such procedure should be carried out until the problem has been solved completely.
Quite often, treatment of the ingrown nail on a child’s toe comes to the surgical approach.
But there is nothing terrible in it:
- the ingrown nail edges are removed;
- the wound is processed so that nailfolds would be moved aside from the nail;
- children under 10 years are required general narcosis, but on reaching this age the surgeon will offer local anesthesia;
- then only two bandages applied;
- after such operation the child is recommended to run on the house barefoot with an open wound, so that it would be dried up and tightened quicker;
- parents will need only to disinfect the surged area with «brilliant green» by the doctor’s advice;
- full healing happens for the 15 or 20 day after the operation.
Parents must understand that they bear all responsibility for treatment at home. In case of complications there will be nobody to blame, except themselves. Therefore how trivial a treatment of child’s ingrown nail might be, there would be best of all to consult the doctor and to follow his recommendations. It will accelerate recovery and make life easier for the child.
Prevention Ingrown Toenail
At first emergence of the ingrown nail when the inflammation has not much developed, and the pain is not getting worse yet, a conservative treatment is possible:
- It is necessary to change footwear for more convenient with wide fore-part, so it will help to decrease pressure upon toes.
- Barefoot walking whenever possible is best of all. You may also use footwear with open toes.
- The following important step: short cutting nails must be completely excluded, as they even greater promote ingrowth of nail plate. The ideal method of cutting the ingrown toenail is a rectilineal section no more than at toe-tip level using sharp scissors with not rounded ends. In case if the edge of the toenail is cut off too shortly, it is necessary to file it on angles so that there are no sharp edges that could irritate toe skin left.
- For pain, puffiness and inflammatory process reduction, regularly (once a day) take baths with warm salty (sea) water. This procedure softens nail plate and skin around the damaged area. For preventive purposes for protection against infection during taking the bath, add furacilin or potassium permanganate to water. After the procedure it is possible to insert small cotton puffs under the pressing edge of toenail plate. That will gently lift it and reduce the plate pressure into the flesh. While upon infection which, however, affects the ingrown toenail, you can use antibiotics of local appliance, such as skin ointments. But this variant of treatment is recommended only after consultation with the doctor.