When a child complains that they are in pain, it can be hard to know when to take their complaints seriously. Even if you see the cause of their pain, you might worry that going to a doctor is an overreaction. When it comes to foot and toenail problems, it might seem like overkill to go to a specialist for help—and sometimes, it is. However, at other times, seeing a podiatrist early on can nip a potentially chronic condition in the bud.
At Northwest Extremity Specialists, we offer gentle, non-invasive treatment for a range of pediatric foot problems to help your child get back on their feet quickly and avoid a recurrence of the painful problem.
Common Pediatric Skin and Nail Problems
Children are prone to skin problems on their feet because they often run around barefoot in bathrooms, gyms, locker rooms, pool decks, and outside. Don’t get us wrong—we encourage kids to be kids, and being barefoot is a necessary and fun part of childhood. However, good foot hygiene is important to avoid some painful problems.
Some skin problems and many toenail problems aren’t in kids aren’t caused by being barefoot at all. Instead, they are caused by wearing shoes. Whether their feet are getting hot and sweaty, or they are wearing shoes that pinch their toes because their feet are growing so fast, fungal infections and toenail problem crop up frequently.
Some of the most common childhood skin and nail conditions we treat in our office include the following:
- Plantar warts. Deep, embedded warts on the bottom of the foot are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), which kids can pick up from casual person-to-person contact or from a floor or towel. Plantar warts are annoying and can even be painful because they are constantly irritated by pressure from wearing shoes and walking. They are hard to get rid of at home because the wart is covered by a thick callus that needs to be removed before the wart can be treated. They can also multiply on the foot and spread to other family members.
- Ingrown toenails. When a toenail curves and cuts into the skin surrounding the nail bed, it can be painful. Some kids are just prone to ingrown toenails, and others get them from wearing shoes or socks that are too tight or from cutting their own toenails improperly. Teens on certain acne medications are more susceptible to ingrown toenails. Once a toenail grows into the nail bed, it can become a frequent and recurrent problem.
- Fungal infections. Fungal toenail infections—where the toenail becomes thick and yellow—are uncommon in kids, but children do frequently get fungal skin infections. More commonly knowns as athlete’s foot, kids who use public locker rooms, go swimming indoors, or walk barefoot in public anywhere are exposing themselves to the risk of an itchy, painful fungal infection.
While there are over-the-counter and home remedies for all of these ailments, they are often ineffective and time-consuming, meaning your child will suffer—and risk exposing others to warts and fungal infections—longer than is necessary.
In our office, we can often treat these conditions in a single visit and help your child avoid a recurrence with medical intervention, education, and other preventative measures. If your child is an athlete, getting quick, professional help can get them back in the pool or on the field much faster than if you choose to treat the problem at home. Don’t wait another day to call our Portland office to find out if we can help.
Meet With Our Pediatric Foot Doctors
If your child has a troublesome skin or toenail problem, the pediatric foot doctors at Northwest Extremity Specialists will develop a personalized treatment plan that will relieve pain and irritation and help prevent the problem from coming back. If we think the problem can easily be treated at home, we will give you the information you need to help your child. Call us today at 503-245-2420 to make an appointment in the Portland-area office closest to you.