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Can children have poor nail health?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Poor nail health rarely affects children, but it is common in older people. Children have thinner nails than older people, so children's nails are less susceptible to fungal infections. Older people also are more likely to have problems with their circulatory systems, which can affect nail health.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Children can suffer from many of the same nail problems that adults do. In fact, because they often suck their thumbs or bite their nails, kids are especially susceptible to bacterial infections such as paronychia, an inflammatory condition caused by excessive moisture in the nail area. 

Just like adults, children may get ingrown toenails, which occur when the toenail grows into the surrounding skin (or vice versa). Ingrown toenails are often genetic, so a parent with a tendency toward them may have a child who is troubled by them, too. Ingrown toenails can become painful and infected if not treated quickly.

Children may acquire nail fungal infections, especially when they are frequently barefoot in warm, moist areas, such as swimming pools and locker rooms, or wearing warm, sweaty shoes. And family members with nail fungal infections can pass them to other family members who share the bathroom or towels. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.