Perhaps not the most glamorous injury, but ingrown toenails are easily one of the more common and painful foot problems around. In fact, in a recent survey by the American Podiatric Medical Association, they were listed in the top three with heel pain and blisters as the other most common complaints.

Also known as Onychocryptosis, there are a variety of ways an athlete could suffer from the problem. Excessive pressure on the outside of the great toe, stubbing or having a toe stepped on, tight socks and shoes, even improper trimming of your nails can cause ingrown toenails. Don't forget the dreaded toenail fungus (Onychomycosis) which can cause an abnormally shaped nail that tends to get ingrown.

The pain isn't easy to deal with, as most athletes are usually always on their feet! With running and most other sports being a dynamic in nature, training and racing with an ingrown toenail can be incredibly painful. Soreness and sensitivity along the margins of the toenails may lead to infection (watery discharge, blood, pus). If infected, immediately visit a podiatrist.

If uninfected, treat the feet by soaking them in either salt or warm soapy water. Drying them thoroughly, applying a mild antiseptic solution, and bandaging the toe will make a difference.

However, if the athlete takes proper care of their feet, ingrown toenails can be certainly prevented. Make sure your shoes are long and wide enough. Remember that socks come in sizes as well. Cut your nails straight across. Keep your toenail clipper clean. Treat fungus as soon as it shows it's ugly head! And most impartantly, do not pick at them or try to perform bathroom surgery!

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ellatorres 03/29/2011 01:31 AM
I found it helpful. Thanks for Information.
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linda dale 03/31/2011 07:00 AM
Nice article. I want to add something in it.Ingrown toenails may be inherited.It is the result of trauma, such as stubbing your toe, having an object fall on your toe, or engaging in activities that involve repeated pressure on the toes.
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yellow toenail treatment 05/19/2011 07:58 PM
Nice article. Ingrown toenail embarrassing, annoying and even painful.
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Marc 07/28/2013 02:52 PM
It amazes me how often I see articles and videos advocating bathroom surgery options for ingrown toenails. People need to go see a professional like Dr. Marybeth Crane and deal with the ingrown nail properly.
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