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Kids and Their Feet: Keeping Both Happy

Childhood is full of unexpected illnesses. It is common for parents to take their children to the pediatrician for ear aches, runny noses, and stomach aches. Parents are excellent at taking notice of childhood milestones, such as first tooth, first word, and first steps. However, a commonly overlooked area of the body that should also be watched closely is the feet, according to Hampton Roads podiatrist Dr. Matthew Dairman, Fellow and Spokesperson for the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

Dairman treats a large pediatric population and says ingrown toenails are a very common complaint. He blames tight shoes, tight socks and incorrect nail trimming for most cases. In other cases, children may inherit the tendency for nails to curve. “Many kids hide their ingrown toenails from their parents, even though the condition can cause significant pain,” according to Dairman. “Over time, the nail may break the skin and lead to bad infections.”

The only proper way to treat a child’s ingrown toenail is with a minor surgical procedure at a podiatrist’s office. During the short procedure, the foot and ankle surgeon numbs the toe and removes the offending portion of the nail. In some cases of infection an antibiotic may be prescribed. Various techniques can permanently remove part of a nail’s root too, preventing it from growing back. Most children experience very little pain afterwards, and can resume normal activity the next day.

According to Dairman and the ACFAS, parents can help prevent ingrown nails by following a few simple tips.

Teach children how to trim their toenails properly. Trim toenails in a fairly straight line, and don’t cut them too short.

Make sure children’s shoes fit. Check your child’s shoe size often. Shoe width is as important as length. Make sure that the widest part of the shoe matches the widest part of your child’s foot.

Don’t let your child wear hand-me-down shoes. Because most shoes mold to the foot, wearing hand-me-downs can affect the shape of your child’s feet.

If a child develops a painful ingrown toenail, parents can reduce the inflammation by soaking the child’s foot in room-temperature water and gently massaging the side of the nail fold.

Parents should never try to dig the nail out or cut it off. These dangerous “bathroom surgeries” carry a high risk for infection.

Other common foot problems among children and adolescents include plantar warts, flat feet, sports injuries, bunions, and heel pain. If your child’s feet grow correctly and stay healthy, foot problems are less likely later in life. Dairman states, “If you have young children it is a good idea to observe them closely while they walk and play. If your child falls frequently or is hesitant to run and keep up with their friends during play, it could be due to problems with their feet and evaluation from a podiatrist is recommended.”

For more information on ingrown toenails or other foot and ankle conditions, visit the ACFAS Web site, FootPhysicians.com. Dr. Dairman can be contacted at 757-934-0768 or https://1foot2foot.com/.



Your 5-Star-Rated Suffolk & Hampton, VA, Podiatrists
  • “I've been both a patient of 1Foot 2Foot with Dr. Dairman and a client at Stems Spa. I can honestly say - WOW! I never thought I'd be proud to show my feet until now. Dr. D. fixed by heel pain and a pretty bad bunion. I can barely see the scar! The pedicures are simply amazing - AND CLEAN! Proud to have them in Suffolk! Thanks guys.”

    - Stephie

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  • “Dr. Dairman and his staff are wonderful. I went from dreading to even stand-up to out walking for exercise again. So happy with the improvement in my foot! Thank you 1Foot 2Foot.”

    - Cindy R.

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  • “I purchased many Dr. Scholl's supports, went to an orthopedic who sent me to therapy. Six months later I was no better. A friend told me about 1Foot 2Foot and Dr. Dairman. Within 2 weeks I was back to my activities with little pain. Within 4 weeks, I'm pain-free. How he did it, I don't know, but I now send all my friends and family to 1Foot 2Foot.”

    - Barbara

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  • “Thanks to 1Foot 2Foot, six months after my husband had major foot surgery, he is up to running three miles with no foot or ankle pain!!”

    - Lee M.

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  • “I was greeted by a friendly receptionist, taken back promptly by a friendly assistant, and seen by a podiatrist who was comfortable, confident, and yes, friendly. He explained my problem (neuroma), offered several treatment options and said with a smile "I can fix that." He gave me a steroid injection and I left his office without pain. I haven't had pain since.”

    - tgreenleaf

    best suffolk podiatrist
  • “Almost 4 months after surgery and all is still well. On Monday of this week I had 4 patients of my own to see in our outpatient surgery department. I went up and down the flight of stairs to surgery a total of 9 times that day. Was I tired at the end of the day? You bet! Did my foot and heel give me any problems? None at all!!!! Thanks again for pain free walking.”

    - PW (Suffolk, VA)

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Read More
  • “I've been both a patient of 1Foot 2Foot with Dr. Dairman and a client at Stems Spa. I can honestly say - WOW! I never thought I'd be proud to show my feet until now. Dr. D. fixed by heel pain and a pretty bad bunion. I can barely see the scar! The pedicures are simply amazing - AND CLEAN! Proud to have them in Suffolk! Thanks guys.”

    - Stephie

    best suffolk podiatrists
  • “Dr. Dairman and his staff are wonderful. I went from dreading to even stand-up to out walking for exercise again. So happy with the improvement in my foot! Thank you 1Foot 2Foot.”

    - Cindy R.

    best podiatrists in suffolk va
  • “I purchased many Dr. Scholl's supports, went to an orthopedic who sent me to therapy. Six months later I was no better. A friend told me about 1Foot 2Foot and Dr. Dairman. Within 2 weeks I was back to my activities with little pain. Within 4 weeks, I'm pain-free. How he did it, I don't know, but I now send all my friends and family to 1Foot 2Foot.”

    - Barbara

    best suffolk va podiatrists
  • “Thanks to 1Foot 2Foot, six months after my husband had major foot surgery, he is up to running three miles with no foot or ankle pain!!”

    - Lee M.

    best podiatrists in suffolk
  • “I was greeted by a friendly receptionist, taken back promptly by a friendly assistant, and seen by a podiatrist who was comfortable, confident, and yes, friendly. He explained my problem (neuroma), offered several treatment options and said with a smile "I can fix that." He gave me a steroid injection and I left his office without pain. I haven't had pain since.”

    - tgreenleaf

    best suffolk podiatrist
  • “Almost 4 months after surgery and all is still well. On Monday of this week I had 4 patients of my own to see in our outpatient surgery department. I went up and down the flight of stairs to surgery a total of 9 times that day. Was I tired at the end of the day? You bet! Did my foot and heel give me any problems? None at all!!!! Thanks again for pain free walking.”

    - PW (Suffolk, VA)

    best va podiatrists
Read More
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