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Children's Soccer Linked To Ingrown Toenails

Posted Oct 14 2009 10:03pm
Snug Cleats, Repeated Kicking Can Contribute To A Painful Problem

Although soccer season is nearing its end, it is important to take note of the following important information.

Toes and feet can take a beating, especially from sports. Dr. Vail treats many soccer-playing children for ingrown toenails. He blames improper toenail trimming, snug soccer cleats and repetitive kicking for creating this painful problem.

“Many kids wear hand-me-down cleats that don’t fit,” says Dr. Vail. “Older children like tighter cleats. They believe it gives them a better feel for the ball and the field.”

Dr. Vail says there are steps parents can take to prevent their children from suffering a painful ingrown toenail. First, teach children how to trim their toenails properly. Trim toenails in a fairly straight line, and don’t cut them too short. Second, make sure cleats fit properly. A child’s shoe size can change within a single soccer season.

If a child develops a painful ingrown toenail, soaking their foot in room-temperature water and gently massaging the side of the nail fold can reduce the inflammation. But Dr. Vail warns parents against home treatments, which can be dangerous. If your son’s or daughter’s ingrown toenails show signs of infection, it’s definitely time to seek medical care.

A foot and ankle surgeon can remove a child’s ingrown toenail, and prevent it from returning, with a simple, 10-minute surgical procedure. During the short procedure, the doctor numbs the toe and removes the ingrown portion of the nail. Various techniques can permanently remove part of a nail’s root too, preventing it from growing back. Most children experience very little pain afterwards and can resume normal activity the next day.

For more information on ingrown toenails and other pediatric foot problems please refer to our website,
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