Donate For AAD Members Search

American Academy of Dermatology Logo

What kids should know about ingrown nails

Just like they sound, ingrown toenails are when your nail grows into your skin. Healthy nails grow straight out. But sometimes, the edge of the nail curves down into your skin and makes the nail "ingrown." Usually this happens on the big toe and it can hurt a lot. 

To make sure you don't get an ingrown toenail, you should:

  • Cut your toenails straight across. Have your mom and dad teach you to do this. If it's too hard, have them do it. 

  • Be sure your shoes aren't too tight.


If you do get an ingrown nail:

  • Don't try to dig or cut it out yourself. You can make it worse and get an infection.  

  • Soak your feet in warm salt water a few times a day. This can help an ingrown toe nail feel better.    

  • Have your mom or dad take you to a skin doctor (dermatologist) if the problem doesn't go away.

Find a dermatologist by location
Advanced search
Find a dermatologist by name
Advanced search