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remove them? the toes, i mean.

actually, i've gotten ingrown toenails from time to time since i was in my early teens, and my podiatrist told me to just quit picking them.

as for adam, you're in the right place with him. just keep his feet clean and if you notice them oozing puss, get some ointment onto them.


In my other life(before kids) I was a podiatrist who specialized in paediatrics!! I had toddlers in my office all the time! He's right. 95% of the time the problem corrects itself as their foot gets bigger. Make sure that he wears well fitting shoes so that they do not aggravate the problem. If he does need to have the surgery it probably won't be until he's much older (teenager). The surgery is very easy, and not particularly painful. Did you know that your nail is not actually attached to your toe?!! Good luck

Jamie had the same problem when he was younger, and now that you mention it, we haven't had any redness or puffiness in awhile so maybe he's already outgrowing it. No tips though, sorry.

Whew - when I read this I had no clue this was something that happened! So glad that Victoria's around, though - nothing like having a professional to give you advice!

This my not work if he won't let you near his feet but I have done this for ingrown toenails on myself - take something sharpish (like one side of a scissor or a metal nail file) and just scratch a line down the center of the nail. Not to the point of bleeding or anything, just a scrape in the nail. Supposedly, it give the nail someplace to grow (inward toward the center instead of outward and under the skin on the sides). It shouldn't hurt at all.

I have also heard of clipping a notch in the top of the nail for the same reason but that would drive me crazy (you know it would be sharp and catch on socks and sheets and everything)

I had the most painful ingrown toenails for years and so did my stepmother. One doctor she went to finally gave us the most simple solution.

Simply cut a V in the center of the toenail and file the edges to a soft roundness. This gives room for the toenail to grow in together (into the space you created with the V) instead of pushing outward on the outer corners.

Best. Solution. Ever. No more sore toes. No surgery for your lil darlin.

Good luck doing it though. You'll probably want to catch him after a good dose of cough syrup (for that awful cold I'm sure he's going to get this winter, as all babies seem to) to try it.

I used to always get ingrown toenails as a kid (I'm in my early 20s now), ALL the time, puss and everything. I haven't gotten any in a few years now though, so I outgrew it on my own. So perhaps Adam will too, especially since you said it's already improving.


Whenever the nail gets long enough to cut (or just before), cut a "V"-shaped wedge into the center of the toenail.

Voila. The two sides of the nail around the "V" will then grow TOWARDS each other rather than AWAY towards those tender nailbeds.

All better, forever.

(Of course you have to keep doing this as long as the nails show a predisposition towards growing towards the beds.)

Fie! On that podiatrist. He should have suggested this way before suggesting surgery. There is more than one way to heal than cold hard steel.


i bet he doesn't like to have his toes touched because he unconsciously remembers when it was painful. i used to work for a chiropractor who was an advocate of kids being barefooted because it gave them better balance, worked the right muscles and was, in general, better for their muscular, nerve learning/training and would serve them the rest of their lives!

so see? you are doing the right thing and you didn't even know it!

I hope Adam does grow out of it, I know it must really suck. My husband and several of his siblings all had the same problem and had to have the surgery to fix it and I think that my eldest daughter is going in the same direction with hers. A couple of her nails in particular she hates having cut and I can see why, because they just don't look right. I don't think I'm quite to the stage of taking her to get cut though yet! As long as they don't bother her in normal everyday life I'm just going to wait. You're so brave always facing things like this headon!

Alexander, my son had this problem as a newborn too. By the time he was just a couple of months old, one of his toes had become infected. I was so upset for him! But, having said that, he's 3 now, and I realised when I read your post that I haven't thought about his toes for the longest time, so clearly it has settled down itself!

My husband has trouble with ingrown toenails though, and will also vouch for the "V" trick.

I'm curious to hear what Victoria has to say about the "V" cut. (Isn't it cool having expert advice on board?!)

I'd be a little leery of doing that on a toddler. They are so rough-and-tumble that I'd be afraid the nail would get split down the middle. An adult would be conscious of the issue and be careful to not have it get caught on things whereas a little one would not. I shudder at the thought of them stubbing their toe or getting in stepped on and having it tear. Ouch!

Victoria... any thoughts on this?

I had ingrown toenails for years, tried the scratch-the-nail-down-the-middle trick and the cut-a-v trick, no success with those for me. Whenever the toenails got long enough that they started growing in I cut or ripped the corners way back -- painful, but only short-term whereas trying to let them grow out was constant pain.

Eventually I painted my toenails one summer and the polish got me to stop picking at them a bit and also seemed to make the corners more rigid so instead of growing down/in they grew out/along. Maybe try a coat of clear polish on Adam's toes? Seems like it cannot hurt to try.

I can't give any advice, but I can emphathize because Ava's are the same way. I'm hoping we'll have what your podiatrist/mommy friend says and she will grow out of it.

I had the same problem as a child, with one infection after another, and still have it now with my big toes. I tried the V cut thing - never worked for me, I didn't seem to have a problem with pressure, it was just that my nail was so curved it grew into the sides of the skin anyway, so the V didn't fix that. Then I tried growing them longer - that was pain in a whole new and exciting way. Then they said they'd have to surgically remove part of the nail bed, so I freaked out and cut them really short, and the pain and whole problem went away. Now I just keep them very short, and haven't had a problem since (although I know all about it if I forget to clip them for a while and they grow too long!).

Clear nail varnish worked on my Alex's toes. Also a splash of Dettol or anti bacterial stuff in the bath at night helped too. He's nearly 15 and so far I haven't let anybody cut my baby's toes!

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