Dr. Brian Nagy | July 27th, 2017
Anyone can have an ingrown toenail, but runners are more susceptible to them than others. This is primarily caused by the environment their feet are in and the amount of pressure their feet endure during training and competition. When the right ingrown toenail care is used, runners can reduce their risk of getting an ingrown toenail and help maintain optimum foot health.
Your shoes should be on of your main concerns. They should fit properly, allowing your toes to move freely while at the same time supporting the arches and curves of your feet. Running shoes should fit comfortably without binding or restricting your movements.
The amount of pressure your feet endure with every step stresses the foot. The constant movement of the tissues can increase the risk of ingrown toenails, especially if your shoes allow your toes to constantly be forced into the toe of your shoe.
Your shoes create a dark, moist environment that is ideal for the growth of bacteria. The more bacteria, the higher your risk of infection. Moisture also softens the nail bed causing it to curl unnaturally. The more the nail curves, the more likely it is to eventually begin to cut into the flesh surrounding the nail bed. Allow your feet to be free of shoes and socks for several hours during the day. This will help to maintain the nail bed and keep your feet free of infection.
An important part of ingrown toenail care for runners is keeping your toes neatly trimmed. Trimming them too short allows the edges of the nail to dig into the flesh repeatedly as you take each step. Your nails shouldn’t be allowed to grow excessively long either. Trim and file your toenails regularly to maintain an appropriate length.
Toenails that have been damaged in the past can grow abnormally causing them to curl and cut into the flesh. Ridges may also form and cause the nail to become rough and difficult to trim. Nails that have experienced some type of trauma may grow slower than normal toenails.
Keep your feet as clean as possible and monitor how quickly your toenails grow. If you have trouble trimming your toes due to damage to the nails, visit Nagy Footcare and allow a New Hampshire podiatrist to trim your toenails properly.
If you suffer from a system infection from another health condition or injury, it can make your toes more susceptible to an infection. If a toenail begins to grow abnormally, the amount of bacteria present on the outside of the foot can combine with the infection inside the body to create a perfect storm of inflammation and pain. The more swollen your toe becomes, the more likely it is that the toenail will begin to cut into the flesh surrounding the nail bed.
Chronic illnesses like obesity and diabetes can affect the health of your feet, especially when it comes to infections and ingrown toenails. A runner who has diabetes needs to go the extra mile when caring for their feet, simply because of the way their body functions.
A person who is slightly overweight or diabetic will be more prone to foot problems than a runner who is lean and has good circulation to their feet. Losing the weight and managing your diabetes will lower your risk of ingrown toenails and other foot conditions.
At Nagy Footcare, our goal is to help you protect your feet from conditions like ingrown toenails, infection, and stress. Runners experience certain conditions that, for others may not hamper their daily routine. The amount of stress a runner puts on their feet is compounded by the distance they travel.
By using the tips for ingrown toenail care mentioned above, you can protect your feet from a variety of conditions. If you want to learn more about how to protect your feet during exercise, call and make an appointment with Dr. Nagy today!
At Nagy Footcare, our best day is when you wake up with no foot pain.