16 answers

Ingrown Toenails

I was wondering if anyone has had an experience like this. My 2 year old son has ingrown toenails. One of them recently got infected and our peditrician prescribed some antibotics and told us to see a podiatrist when the infection cleared up. Well I took my son in to the local foot doctor, and I guess I was expecting more of a consultation at first, but the doctor just went right to trimming nail. Without numbing the area. I had to hold my son down while he screamed in pain, and although I know it needed to be done, it was one of the most heart-wrenching experiences of my life.

Has anyone else had to go through this? The doctor made it seem like it would be more uncomfortable for my son to go through the numbing process and then the trimming than to just do it quickly and be done. Does this seem right? He recovered from the experience as soon as it was done and was in good spirits the rest of the day. I was just wondering in case we have to do this again in the future.

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So What Happened?™

Thank you ladies. You've helped restored my peace of mind. I will definitely use your tips on shoes and trimming. Hopefully we will not have to do this again!

Featured Answers

A local block or "ring block" requires several injections of lidocaine which can be uncomfortable...however having an ingrown toenail dug out I'd rather take the shots than the pain. YEOCH

My uncle taught me this "trick" when I was a little girl. Take a pointed, metal nail file and scratch a ridge in in the midddle of the toenail. NOT side to side, but from the cuticle up and get it to the point that there is a ridge in the toenail (don't go too deep but you do need to scratch enough for a ridge to be formed) the side of the toenails will come up. Personally, I think the foot doctor was incredibly insensitive. Would not take hime back there again.

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My only quick input is that I had to have a numbing shot in my foot one time in order to get a cut stiched up and it was soooooo painful! Almost as bad as child birth! It felt like the needle was like 9 inches long! I was told that it hurts so bad because of all of the nerve endings in the feet. So the doc might have been right to not do it.

1 mom found this helpful

the other ladies are right about the shot and shoe choice.
In time your podiatrist may want to remove the sides of the nail if it keeps getting infected. It's a very common procedure (I worked for a podiatrist for 4 years). One piece of advice that can make a big difference: if you're having the nail borders removed, make sure your Dr. uses a chemical on the nail bed that will keep it from growing back. For whatever reason some Dr's don't do that and the nail just grows back (and you have to do the procedure over and over)
If you need a good podiatrist, I still see the one I worked for in Lansing:) Good luck and remember: No bathroom surgeries!!

1 mom found this helpful

S., I've had this problem myself and have seen a podiatrist. I can tell you that the shots to numb up the area are painful! First they spray the area with something very cold and then put a needle in several times in different places around the toenail. I've even had surgery on my toes to remove the roots so that I will hopefully never experience ingrown toenails again. For a child that is 2, I don't know which is worse... trimming it or numbing it first. Unfortunately, neither is pleasant, even to an adult. No one likes needles, especially children and the needles they use to numb are no exception. If he recovered after the procedure, I would say you did the right thing.

I had real bad ingrown toenails in my teen years. The first time I went to the dr, they took care of it quick like they did with you son. Yes that hurt! Well, I got another one, but this time I let it go too long before going to the dr, and the dr had a lot of work to do, so it was numbed first. The pain of sticking that needle into my toe 3-4 times was just as bad as the quick trimming before. So, yeah, that sounds about right.

S. G,

I don't know if this will help you now or not ...

When my son was a baby and toddler he would get ingrown toenails if we weren't proactive about it. As my mom always came up with inexpensive, doctor-avoiding recommendations that usually worked I followed her advice. If the problem occurred we soaked that kid's feet multiple times throughout the day in a dishpan. When he watched a video, we read together, etc., we soaked his feet. Once a day usually avoided it altogether. It softened the hard nail that was pressing into his tender skin. If we backed off for a few days it would spring up again. I preferred this to what would happen at the doc's office but you decide for yourself.

By the way, I turned to this solution as I took my baby in for a well check and asked the pediatrician about his toes. She wanted me to take this little baby to a podiatrist. That is when I called dear old mom, who raised six healthy kids on no money. Mom was right.

As to what we used, warm water and dish soap or warm water and bar soap. He liked bubbles. Try to get at least five minutes in and keep the socks off for awhile afterwards.

Eventually his skin got tougher and he outgrew the problem without a podiatrist.

Good luck.

A local block or "ring block" requires several injections of lidocaine which can be uncomfortable...however having an ingrown toenail dug out I'd rather take the shots than the pain. YEOCH

My son is prone to them, and luckily we never had an infection...

Here's some info to prevent: (which one of the doctors should have mentioned?)

* Trim your nails properly. Cut your toenails in a fairly straight line, and don’t cut them too short. You should be able to get your fingernail under the sides and end of the nail.
* Avoid poorly-fitting shoes. Don’t wear shoes that are short or tight in the toe box. Also avoid shoes that are loose, because they too cause pressure on the toes, especially when you run or walk briskly.

Hope this helps you!

Hi S.,
I have been a nail tech for 17 years (licensed in CA, AZ and MI) and have had clients come to me with ingrowns after receiving pedicures at "chop shops". If it is infected I recommend them to a podiatrist. After that I recommend neosporin and taking a small piece of cotton and rolling it into a little ball and wedging it under the toenail as it grows out so it won't grow back into the skin. It is best to change it a couple times a day, but I find after a week or two the problem is solved. Just remember not to cut the nails too short so they are back at the point that they can go back in the skin...good luck!

E.

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