While talking about baby health issues, their nails are often neglected. But when you are taking care of your baby, you need to watch out for her overall health, and that includes her nails!
One of the common problems afflicting baby nails is an ingrown toenail. Anybody, of any age, can fall prey. But when it affects babies, it can cause some serious discomfort.
What Causes Ingrown Toenail in Babies?
Some of the major causes of an ingrown toenail in babies includes:
1. Cutting Nails Wrong:
When you are trimming your baby’s nails, make sure not to cut them too short. Also, try to avoid cutting them too deep around the corners. Nails that are trimmed too short and deep can grow inward.
2. Tight Socks And Shoes:
It is the most common cause of an ingrown toenail. If your baby wears ill-fitting socks or shoes, she may develop an ingrown toenail.
Sometimes, a baby can lose a nail due to an injury. If this happens, the new nail that grows back can become ingrown.
4. Stress On Toe:
If your baby repeatedly stubs her toe, she may end up with an ingrown toenail.
Sometimes, an infection too can cause a toenail to become ingrown.
[ Read: Psoriasis In Babies ]
Symptoms Of An Ingrown Toenail In Babies:
Identifying an ingrown toenail can get confusing. Sometimes, a painful toe is the only indicator that something is wrong. Remember, most ingrown toenails develop on the big toe.
In general, ingrown toenails come with the following symptoms:
1. Painful To Touch:
As your baby cannot yet communicate her discomfort, you have to watch out for other cues. If she cries when you touch her toe, she may be in pain due to an ingrown toenail.
The area around the ingrown nail tends to become sore and red.
Inflammation is a classic symptom of an ingrown toenail.
If the nail has become infected, you may also notice pus.
5. Foul Odor:
Many times, the affected toe may also emanate a foul odor.
[ Read: Effective Ways To Treat Yeast Diaper Rash In Babies ]
Treatment For An Ingrown Toenail In Babies:
When it comes to babies, treating an ingrown toenail can be a little tricky. Many experts advise against any medical intervention to treat ingrown toenails in babies. It is best to treat ingrown toenails at home, using some simple tricks.
Here are some easy home remedies for treating an ingrown toenail in babies:
- Soak the affected toe in warm water. The warmth of the water not just treats the nail but also provides relief from pain. It can be difficult to get your baby to sit quietly with her toe in the water. So, the best option will be to let her play in the water for about ten minutes.
- You can also apply an OTC antibiotic cream on the affected area.
- You can try and file the affected nail away from the skin.
- Try and lift the nail and apply a sterile gauze under it.
- If your baby is in excessive pain, you can give her some baby Tylenol.
When To Call The Doctor?
If you notice an ingrown toenail early on, you can treat it with the help of the above home remedies. However, if you notice the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- Excessive pain
If the infection is widespread and any medication is not working, your doctor may recommend a minor surgery. According to experts, a partial nail avulsion is the perfect option for treating a severe infection due to an ingrown toenail in babies (1). The surgery involves removing a part of the infected nail. Your baby’s doctor may prescribe a dose of antibiotics after the surgery.
In severe cases, your doctor may prescribe nail-fold excision procedure (2). But this surgery is prescribed in very rare cases, so don’t worry!
How To Prevent Ingrown Toenail In Babies?
The best way to spare your baby from needless pain is to prevent an ingrown toenail from occurring. Try the following preventive measures:
Always trim your baby’s nails right. Trim them straight and don’t cut them too short.
Buy shoes and socks that fit. Baby feet can grow quickly, so watch out for ill-fitting footwear.
An ingrown toenail on baby is not a medical emergency but can become very uncomfortable. The best thing to do is to prevent an infection. So, keep checking those adorable toes! You better start using the home remedies mentioned here, at the first sign of distress.
Your baby’s toes need much attention and care to ensure her overall well-being!
Do you know any other home remedy for treating an ingrown toenail in babies? Share it with us.
- 5 Common Digestive Problems In Infants
- Bronchiolitis In Infants/Babies – 4 Causes & Symptoms You Should Be Aware Of
- 13 Signs Of Baby Teething Along With Symptoms And Remedies
- Top 12 Causes Of Low Birth Weight In Babies