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Snug cleats, repeated kicking can contribute to a painful problem

Lansing, IL 10/01/2017

Toes and feet can take a beating, especially from sports.

Foot and ankle surgeon Michael A. Wood, DPM, FACFAS, says he treats many soccer-playing children for ingrown toenails. He blames improper toenail trimming, snug soccer cleats and repetitive kicking for creating this painful problem.

“Many kids wear hand-me-down cleats that don’t fit,” says Dr. Wood.  “Older children like tighter cleats. They believe it gives them a better feel for the ball and the field.”

Dr. Wood has offices in Lansing and Chicago and is a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. (HE OR SHE) says there are steps soccer moms and dads can take to prevent their children from suffering a painful ingrown toenail. First, teach children how to trim their toenails properly. Trim toenails in a fairly straight line, and don’t cut them too short. Second, make sure cleats fit properly.

“A child’s shoe size can change within a single soccer season,” Dr. Wood reminds parents.

If a child develops a painful ingrown toenail, soaking their foot in room-temperature water and gently massaging the side of the nail fold can reduce the inflammation. But Dr. Wood warns parents against home treatments, which can be dangerous. The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons lists myths about ingrown toenail home treatments on its Web site,

“If your son’s or daughter’s ingrown toenails show signs of infection, it’s time to seek medical care,” says Dr. Wood.

For more information on ingrown toenails and other pediatric foot problems, contact Dr. Wood’s office at 708-418-5551 or

Dr. Michael A. Wood is board certified in forefoot surgery and earned his medical degree from Dr. William M Scholl School of Podiatric Medicine.   He has been practicing in Lansing and Chicago for 21 years.