Oh babies…so cuddly and cute. And, those tiny feet – aren’t they just the cutest thing? We rarely associate babies with toenail trouble, but are babies really free from one? At our practice, we see little babies (as young as a few weeks old!) with an ingrowing toenail every so often. So, yes, surprising enough, babies can have toenail trouble too!
When parents bring their babies in, they often say they squeezed pus out from the side of the toe and knew something was wrong. Generally, when pus is present, it is a sign that a wound is present and the wound is caused by a nail puncturing the skin.
So, how can those tiny big toes have ingrowing toenail? Here are a few common reasons.
1. The way baby tucked their feet in the womb 🤰🏼
We all know that babies spend a fair bit of time in the womb. As they get bigger, there is less room for them to move. Their feet may be tucked in such a way that puts constant pressure on their tiny, little big toes, causing the skin around the nail to fold up. Because of that, the big toenails may be more prone to become ingrown as they grow longer.
2. Socks and booties being too tight 👶🏻
As baby’s skin is very soft and delicate, a little pressure can also cause big damage. Tight clothing is the most common reason why little babies get ingrown toenails. Always check that there is room for your little one’s feet to wiggle. Another thing to watch out for is loose threads and loops. There have been incidences where babies got a black toe from loose threads in the past.
3. Peeling baby’s toenails 🙅🏻
Baby or not, generally it’s NOT a good idea to peel toenails. There is always a risk that you peel the nails too deep. If baby’s toenails are getting long, use a baby nail file to gently and safely file away the length and smooth out sharp corners.
With these few tips in hand, your baby should be toe-tally happy! Of course, when in doubt, bring your bundle of joy to see a podiatrist. No one is too young to see one!