Active woman who competes in marathons

by Dr. Neal Blitz

I am a 35 year old woman who loves to running. I live in NYC and I am very active in NYC marathons but my ingrown toe nails are affecting my training. Is there something I can do to stop my nails from growing this way?

Ingrown toe nails are a common issue affecting runners and athletes wearing improper running shoes. Some running shoes have a narrow toe box causing the toes to be compressed together. That combined with the repetitive impact between the toes and the front of the shoe can contribute to painful ingrown toe nails. Some runners have a misshapen nail causing ingrown toe nails to grow more frequently. The medical term used to describe this is called Onychodystrophy and I advise my patients who have this to keep their nails cut short and even. When this fails a procedure I perform removes the part of the nail growing abnormally, and this procedure is called a matrixectomy. That part of the nail does not grow back and you should no longer develop an ingrown toenail or have pain while running.



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