Abdominal Pain - Female
Abdominal Pain - Male
Acne
Animal or Human Bite
Antibiotics: When Do They Help
Arm Injury
Arm Pain
Asthma Attack
Athlete's Foot
Back Pain
Bed Bug Bite
Bee or Yellow Jacket Sting
Blisters
Bottle-Feeding Formula Questions
Breast-Feeding Questions
Breath-holding Spell
Bruise
Bruises and Cuts
Burn
Chest Pain
Chickenpox
Circumcision Problems
Colds
Constipation
Cough
Coughs: Meds or Home Remedies
Cracked or Dry Skin
Cradle Cap
Croup
Crying Baby - Before 3 Months Old
Crying Child - 3 Months and Older
Cut, Scrape, or Bruise
Diaper Rash
Diarrhea
Diarrhea Diseases From Travel
Dizziness
Drinking Fluids - Decreased
Dry Skin
Ear - Congestion
Ear - Discharge
Ear - Injury
Ear - Pulling At or Rubbing
Ear - Swimmer's
Ear Infection Questions
Earache
Earwax Buildup
Ebola Exposure
Eczema
Emergency Symptoms Not to Miss
Eye - Allergy
Eye - Foreign Body or Object
Eye - Injury
Eye - Pus or Discharge
Eye - Red Without Pus
Eye - Swelling
Fainting
Fever
Fever - How to Take the Temperature
Fever - Myths Versus Facts
Fifth Disease
Finger Injury
Fire Ant Sting
Flu
Fluid Intake Decreased
Food Allergy
Foreskin Care Questions
Frostbite
Genital Injury - Female
Genital Injury - Male
Hair Loss
Hand-Foot-And-Mouth Disease HFMD
Hay Fever
Head Injury
Headache
Heat Exposure and Reactions
Heat Rash
Hives
Human or Animal Bite
Immunization Reactions
Impetigo - Infected Sores
Infection Exposure Questions
Influenza - Seasonal
Influenza Exposure
Insect Bite
Jaundiced Newborn
Jellyfish Sting
Jock Itch
Leg Injury
Leg Pain
Lice - Head
Lymph Nodes - Swollen
Medication - Refusal to Take
Menstrual Cramps
Menstrual Period - Missed or Late
Mental Health Problems
Molluscum
Mosquito Bite
Mosquito-Borne Diseases from Travel
Motion Sickness
Mouth Injury
Mouth Ulcers
Neck Pain or Stiffness
Newborn Appearance Questions
Newborn Illness - How to Recognize
Newborn Rashes and Birthmarks
Newborn Reflexes and Behavior
Nose Allergy Hay Fever
Nose Injury
Nosebleed
Penis-Scrotum Symptoms
Pinworms
Poison Ivy - Oak - Sumac
Puncture Wound
Rash or Redness - Localized
Rash or Redness - Widespread
Reflux Spitting Up
Ringworm
Roseola
Scabies
Scorpion Sting
Scrape
Sinus Pain or Congestion
Skin Foreign Body or Object
Skin Injury
Skin Lump
Sliver or Splinter
Sore Throat
Spider Bite
Spitting Up - Reflux
Stomach Pain - Female
Stomach Pain - Male
Stools - Blood In
Stools - Unusual Color
Strep Throat Exposure
Strep Throat Infection
Sty
Sunburn
Suture Questions
Swallowed Foreign Body or Object
Swallowed Harmless Substance
Swimmer's Itch - Lakes and Oceans
Tear Duct - Blocked
Teething
Thrush
Tick Bite
Toe Injury
Toenail - Ingrown
Tooth Injury
Toothache
Umbilical Cord Symptoms
Urinary Tract Infection - Female
Urination Pain - Female
Urination Pain - Male
Vaginal Bleeding
Vaginal Symptoms
Vomiting With Diarrhea
Vomiting Without Diarrhea
Warts
Wheezing Other Than Asthma
Wound Infection

Resources

Is Your Child Sick?TM


Toenail - Ingrown

Is this your child's symptom?

  • The corner of the toenail grows into the skin around it
  • Almost always involves the big toe (great toe)

Symptoms of an Ingrown Toenail

  • Toe pain from sharp corner of toenail cutting into surrounding skin.
  • Redness and swelling around the corner of the toenail is usually present.
  • The area may drain pus or yellow fluid.
  • The red area is very tender to touch or pressure from a shoe.
  • Some teens with an ingrown toenail can barely walk.

Cause of an Ingrown Toenail

  • The toenail is usually pushed into the skin by wearing tight shoes.
  • The tiny cut made by the nail allows bacteria to enter the skin. The cut then becomes infected.
  • The sharp corner of buried nail keeps growing. The deeper it goes, the more painful it becomes.

When to Call for Toenail - Ingrown

When to Call for Toenail - Ingrown

Call 911 Now

  • You think your child has a life-threatening emergency

Call Doctor or Seek Care Now

  • Spreading red area or streak with fever
  • Spreading red area or streak that's very large
  • Severe pain not improved 2 hours after pain medicine and antibiotic ointment
  • Your child looks or acts very sick
  • You think your child needs to be seen, and the problem is urgent

Call Doctor Within 24 Hours

  • Spreading red area or streak, but no fever
  • Entire toe is red and swollen
  • Pus pocket (yellow or green) seen in skin around toenail or under toenail. (Reason: needs to be drained).
  • You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent

Call Doctor During Office Hours

  • Can't locate and free up corner of toenail
  • After using Care Advice more than 2 days, pus discharge not gone
  • After using Care Advice more than 3 days, still hard to walk
  • After using Care Advice more than 7 days, not improved
  • After using Care Advice more than 14 days, not gone
  • Ingrown toenails are a frequent problem
  • You have other questions or concerns

Self Care at Home

  • Minor ingrown toenail

Call 911 Now

  • You think your child has a life-threatening emergency

Call Doctor or Seek Care Now

  • Spreading red area or streak with fever
  • Spreading red area or streak that's very large
  • Severe pain not improved 2 hours after pain medicine and antibiotic ointment
  • Your child looks or acts very sick
  • You think your child needs to be seen, and the problem is urgent

Call Doctor Within 24 Hours

  • Spreading red area or streak, but no fever
  • Entire toe is red and swollen
  • Pus pocket (yellow or green) seen in skin around toenail or under toenail. (Reason: needs to be drained).
  • You think your child needs to be seen, but the problem is not urgent

Call Doctor During Office Hours

  • Can't locate and free up corner of toenail
  • After using Care Advice more than 2 days, pus discharge not gone
  • After using Care Advice more than 3 days, still hard to walk
  • After using Care Advice more than 7 days, not improved
  • After using Care Advice more than 14 days, not gone
  • Ingrown toenails are a frequent problem
  • You have other questions or concerns

Self Care at Home

  • Minor ingrown toenail

Care Advice for Ingrown Toenail

  1. What You Should Know About Ingrown Toenails:
    • Ingrown toenails are always painful.
    • Pain is caused by the sharp toenail edge cutting into the skin around it.
    • The pain can be stopped. Find the toenail corner and lift it out of the raw tissue.
    • This will allow the area to heal.
    • Most ingrown toenails can be treated at home. Surgery or nail removal is rarely needed.
    • Here is some care advice that should help.
  2. Warm Soaks:
    • Soak the toe in warm water and soap for 20 minutes twice a day.
    • While soaking, massage the swollen part of the cuticle (skin next to the nail). Massage away from the nail.
    • While soaking, also try to bend the corners of the toenail upward.
    • Dry the toe and foot completely.
  3. Elevate Corner of Toenail with Dental Floss:
    • Goal: To help the toenail corner grow over the cuticle, rather than into it.
    • Take a short strip of dental floss or fishing line. Try to slip it under the corner of the nail. Then, lift the nail upward. Cut off any sharp edge.
    • Take a small wedge of cotton from a cotton ball. Try to place the wedge under the nail corner to keep it elevated. (Sometimes this step is impossible).
    • Elevate the corner away from the cuticle with every soak.
  4. Antibiotic Ointment:
    • After each soak, use an antibiotic ointment (such as Polysporin). Put it on the swollen part of the toe.
    • You can buy this ointment without a prescription.
  5. Taking Pressure Off Toenail With a Cotton Ball:
    • Until it heals, try to wear sandals or go barefoot.
    • When your child must wear closed shoes protect the ingrown toenail as follows:
    • Inner Edge of Toe. If the inner edge of the big toe is involved, try this technique. Tape a cotton ball or foam pad between the lower part of the first and second toes. This will keep the upper toes from touching.
    • Outer Edge of Toe. If the outer edge is involved, use a cotton ball. Tape it to the outside of the lower toe.
    • This will keep the toenail from touching the side of the shoe.
    • Never wear tight, narrow, or pointed shoes.
  6. Pain Medicine:
    • To help with the pain, give an acetaminophen product (such as Tylenol).
    • Another choice is an ibuprofen product (such as Advil).
    • Use as needed.
  7. Prevention - Nail Trimming:
    • Cut your child's toenails straight across so you can see the corners. Use a nail clipper.
    • Do not round off corners. Keep the corners visible.
    • Do not cut them too short.
    • After baths or showers, the nails are soft. Bend the corners of the toenails upward.
  8. Prevention - Wear Shoes That Fit:
    • Make sure that your child's shoes are not too narrow. Give away any pointed or tight shoes.
    • Tight narrow shoes are the most common cause of ingrown toenails.
    • Shoes should have a wide toe box. The toes should not feel cramped.
  9. What to Expect:
    • With treatment, the pus should be gone in 48 hours.
    • Pain should be gone in 1 week.
    • Area should be healed up in 2 weeks.
  10. Call Your Doctor If:
    • Spreading redness or fever occur
    • Pus pocket occurs
    • Not improved after 7 days
    • You think your child needs to be seen
    • Your child becomes worse

And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the 'Call Your Doctor' symptoms.

Disclaimer: this health information is for educational purposes only. You, the reader, assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.


Copyright 2000-2018. Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC.

Select from over 100 symptoms to learn about managing your child's illness.