Ingrown toenails are common in babies and young children, usually occurring on the inner or outer edges of the big toe.
Sometimes this occurs when the child has outgrown the shoes he is wearing, causing pressure on the big toe. Other times it is due to nails that have grown too long or nails that curve downward towards the skin. This causes the area to become red, swollen, and painful.
Start by soaking the area in warm water every day then use a nail file to gently file the nail away from the skin. Try to elevate the nail edge away from the skin in the process. Finish off with an antibiotic cream to the area to prevent infection.
The best way to prevent future ingrown nails is to frequently file or trim the toenails straight across, being careful not to trim too short. Also make sure your child’s shoes are not too tight, as those feet grow fast!
Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, August 2019