Ingrown Toenails in Adolescents

If your adolescent is complaining of pain in one or more toes, it may be an ingrown toenail. There are numerous causes for ingrown toenails. While it is sometimes true that it begins after the nail is cut wrong, many times that is not the case. It may be caused by pressure from shoes- such as wearing those specialty sports shoes from last year that turned out to be a bit too tight- or from the trauma of kicking the soccer ball repeatedly during practice. Another common cause has nothing to do with what’s been done to the toe or nail and has much more to do with heritage. A tendency to have an improper shape or size of the nail can be genetically passed down in the family line.

Ingrown Toenails
Ingrown toenail in a young person

How do I recognize an ingrown toenail?

Ingrown toenails are most commonly seen in the second decade of life. They range in severity from a minor irritation at the side of the toenail, up to a more serious situation with infection and abnormal granulation tissue growing over the edge of the nail.  Mild cases can often be treated at home with Epsom salt soaks and use of antibiotic ointment and bandage. However, if the pain is persistent or if there is redness, swelling, and/or drainage, an appointment should be made with your podiatrist to treat the situation and to prescribe antibiotics if they are needed.

What should I do about it?

The definitive treatment for chronic ingrown toenails involves a simple procedure in the office that takes about 20 minutes to complete.  While many of us have some level of anxiety associated with going to the doctor, I frequently have patients tell me that the anticipation of the ingrown toenail procedure was much worse than the reality. Most often patients experience less pain when their toe wakes up from the local anesthesia than they had been tolerating for weeks or months prior to their appointment. Return to normal activities is possible within a matter of a few days and full recovery is generally noted within 7-10 days.

Give us a call today at 402-423-0762 to get started on your healing process!