Treating Ingrown Nails

nail care

As a parent with an itchy kid, chances are you already know the importance of well-clipped nails. A regular clipping can be the difference between irritated skin or cuts and scrapes that can get infected – so great nail care is essential. Many parents find that they’re clipping their child’s nails weekly to help cut back on how much damage they do when scratching happens. Other parents clip less and wait for nails to grow out a bit to help avoid sensitivity issues. Either way, when nails get clipped too short or when ingrown nails happen, the situation can become extremely frustrating and even painful for your child. The good news is that there are some pretty simple things you can do to help treat an ingrown nail.

Prevention Is Best

If you aren’t sure about the right way to clip your child’s nails, now is a great time to learn. Experts say that clipping nails the right way can dramatically cut down on how many ingrown nails happen. There are some great videos and diagrams online that can help you make this process easy and healthy every time.

Another area to pay attention to is footwear. Make sure that your child’s toes have room to move around. Cramped toes are more likely to get ingrown nails, and they’re less likely to heal when an ingrown nail happens.

Lifting The Nail

One of the most popular techniques to use when an ingrown nail happens is lifting. Using sterile gauze or cotton, place a tony amount underneath the edge of the nail to lift it slightly off the nail bed. This will offer pain relief and allow the nail to grow out of the toe in the right way. There shouldn’t be any forcing when you use this technique. The cotton should be tucked right under the edge of the nail just enough to keep it in place once socks are put on. Change the cotton twice daily and keep using it until the toe starts to grow normally.

Nail Flossing

If the nail seems to be stuck or caught on the skin of the toe, you can use dental floss to gently lift it and relieve the tension. You can only use this technique at the very edges of the nail, and the floss should never be run underneath the nail as this will cause painful separation from the nail bed. Floss is best used at the edges of nails to help lift them away from skin.


A warm soak in water with epsom salts can help soften nails before you trim them, or help relieve pain and irritation after a trimming. Nails that are trimmed after a bath are extremely pliable – almost like thin plastic – so they are often easier and less painful to work with. Many parents clip their child’s nails after a soak to help avoid ingrown nails in the future.

If an ingrown nail has already happened, a soak can help relieve swelling, cleanse the area, and soften the nail.

Fighting Infection

If your child seems to be in a great deal of pain, if the ingrown area becomes red and swollen, or if you notice any seeping or discharge from the area, it’s time to see a doctor. Infections in the toes can be really hard to clear up on their own because of where they’re located on the body and how slowly ingrown nail issues heal themselves. A doctor or podiatrist can help clean up the area and the nail bed so that your child can start feeling better fast.

I’ve tried it with my son and it has really helped. I use the Glide floss, about 3-4 strips and cut them to size so he won’t think to pull them out,let them stay about 2 days and remove and add it again. It really helped reduce inflammation and the nail has almost extended over the toe skin. I also cut the nails in a V shape to encourage proper growth.

I keep him occupied with a toy or iPad so he won’t focus on his toes. So far so good!

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