Home > Blog > Running with Ingrown Toenails Can Ruin Your Race

Marathon RunnerIs running with ingrown toenails cutting into your race times—or keeping you off the trail altogether? With a little care, you may still be able to participate in the MEC Barrie Race #4 15K on September 7, or the 5K and 10K on September 13. The races are sponsored by MEC, a retail co-op whose goal is to inspire people to get outdoors and lead active lifestyles. At Abbott Foot & Ankle Clinic we want to help treat your nail problem so you don’t have to sit it out on the sidelines on race day.

When your nail curves and grows into the skin around or underneath, it can get pretty uncomfortable. Pressure from shoes or poor foot mechanics can also push the skin to grow over the nail. You toe may jam against the front or side of your shoe with each step, and sharp nail edges could break the skin, opening it to infection. That can cause the area to become red, swollen, and full of pus. The pain can be so bad that you can’t run.

Here are some tips for treating your ingrown toenails so your tissues can heal. (If you have diabetes, come and see us first; some home remedies could injure you further and make the problem worse.)

  • CLEAN your feet with warm water and soap, then SOAK your foot in a warm salt water or vinegar water bath (1/2 cup vinegar per 1 quart of water).
  • DRY carefully, APPLY antiseptic, and DRESS the wound with a bandage (not too tight). Repeat three times a day. You can also try to very gently lift the skin away from the nail and put a small piece of absorbent cotton or dental floss underneath to keep it away from the nail.
  • TRIM your toenails carefully every week or two. Don’t cut too short and don’t cut corners—literally! Cut straight across so the skin won’t be encouraged to grow over the corners.

At the first sign of toenail problems, give our office in Collingwood, ON, a call at (705) 444-9929 to set up an appointment. Catching an ingrown nail early can keep it from progressing and keep you in the race—whether it’s in Barrie, Collingwood, or Owen Sound. Happy running!

Photo Credit: Sura Nualpradid – FreeDigitalPhotos.net