Caring for a growing child has its many stresses. We have to make sure that (s)he eats right, get enough exercises, stays on top of developmental and learning milestones, keep up their hygiene, maintain their appearance, and make sure they grow up loved and secure. Easy peasy! Right?
The pressures of parenting can drive people nutty! With so many things to think about, one of the last things we take care of is our little ones’ feet. Even less attention is given to their toenails. Most of the time, we just have to make sure they are clean and cut, but what happens when there are problems? The following are common issues that can affect your children’s toenails and what you can do to take care of them:
- Toenail Trauma – When a child has an injury by either dropping something heavy on the toes or by stubbing them on something hard, the toenail can appear black and blue. Most times, ice and rest can be the only treatment required. However, when the bruise is severe and causing a lot of pain, a podiatrist may need to treat it by removing the toenail.
- Ingrown Toenails – When toenails are not cut properly, or after an injury, a toenail can begin to grow into the skin. As the nail grows deeper and deeper in to the skin, not only are the toes more prone to infection, the skin around the toe will become red, inflamed, and tender to the touch. Infections will require antibiotics, but otherwise, a podiatrist can separate the toenail from the skin. Worst case scenario, the toenail may have to be separated or removed completely.
- Fungal Toenails – While not commonly found to affect children, some do get a fungal toe. The nail may become disfigured, thick, and/or discolored (gray or yellow). If Athlete’s Foot affects your child, antifungal creams may be used. Other options include oral antifungals or laser therapy on the toe.
Proper hygiene and grooming will help prevent ingrown toenails and fungal toenails. Make sure that your child’s feet are cleaned every day, especially when they have been barefoot in a community area, such as a pool or locker room. Fungus can spread easily in these warm, moist areas. When cutting toenails, make sure they are cut straight across, instead of in a round shape. Also, be careful not to cut them too short. This will help prevent toenails from growing into the skin and causing them to be ingrown. For babies, make sure to use baby clippers as they will be safer to use.
Do your children have toenail issues? Make an appointment today at Clark Podiatry Center. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy will assess your little ones’ feet to find the best treatments or solutions for their toenail problems. We are located in Clark, NJ and serve patients in all the surrounding Union County towns!