Foot Doctor Gives Tip On How Children Can Avoid Ingrown Toenails

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Parents can prevent a common childhood foot problem by following some simple recommendations, according to a Chattanooga foot and ankle surgeon.

Dr. Christopher Segler, DPM,
AACFAS, said ingrown toenails are one of the most frequent conditions
he treats in children. Many kids hide their ingrown toenails from
their parents, even though the condition can cause significant pain.
An ingrown nail can break the skin and lead to dangerous infections, he said.

Dr. Segler blames tight shoes, tight socks and incorrect nail
trimming for most cases. In others, the children may inherit the
tendency for nails to curve. Dr. Segler shares the following tips from
the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

Teach children how to trim their toenails properly. Trim toenails in a fairly straight line, and don't cut them too short.

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.

If a child develops a painful ingrown toenail, reduce the
inflammation by soaking the child's foot in room-temperature water and
gently massaging the side of the nail fold.

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. Dr. Segler said he may
prescribe antibiotics to children with infected ingrown toenails.

For more information on pediatric foot problems such as ingrown toenails, contact Dr. Segler at the Ankle & Foot Center of Chattanooga at (423) 634-2440.


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