Ingrown toenails are very common and often occur on the big toe. They are caused by the sideways growth of the toenail, and the edge goes under the skin. This causes pressure and soreness on the side of the toe, and the toe often gets swollen and red. It may even get infected. Those most commonly affected by an ingrown toenail are athletes (such as pitchers) who are putting a lot of pressure on their toe when they push off for a sport, or growing children who might be wearing shoes that are too tight.
To prevent ingrown toenails, be sure you child is wearing shoes that are wide enough for her foot and don’t pinch her toes. Toenails should be trimmed in a straight line across the top; do not cut them in a curved pattern. Feet should be kept clean and dry. If there is an area of redness or pain on the side of the toe, the foot can soak in warm water two to three times a day to keep it clean, and you can apply an antibiotic ointment.
Don’t wait too long to get your health care provider to take a look if this doesn’t help and if the toe area is very painful, infected or getting worse. And don’t try to remove the nail at home.