Dealing with an Ingrown Toenail

David Shum shares about his pain about the unexpected annoyance.

DAVID SHUM BY | UPDATED 2 WEEKS AGO

Photo Tirachard Kumtanom

Recently I had an ingrown toenail and it occurred at the corner of my big toe. It impinges and irritates the soft tissue of the toe which causes discomfort at every step. Looking back, two days before a 21km race, I might have worn a pair of shoes that were ill-fitting or perhaps ran with untrimmed nails.

I completed the race safely but it was a valuable lesson learnt. The pain level went up to 6/10 and each step was unbearable. From now, a ‘toenail check’ will be one of many activities to be included in my ‘to-do-list’ prior to race day.

Well, there are various ways to get it sorted out, such as application of topical medication which can be obtained over the counter, or perhaps soaking the feet in warm water. Both will soften the skin or nail.

It would be best to seek professional medical care if the situation does not improve and impairs training. Importantly, do not ignore anything that does not feel right! So, the bottom-line is to wear working or running shoes that fit with sufficient space in the toe box and avoid putting on socks that overly constrict the toes.



DAVID SHUM

David is a certified running coach and sports therapist with over 15 years of experience working with running enthusiasts. He is passionate in understanding the uniqueness in every runner and helping all to achieve a healthy and sporting lifestyle. His determination to turn his running experience into information for sharing has led to his most recent work with physically and intellectually challenged athletes in the quest to perform their very best.

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