#238 Can I run my race with an ingrown toenail? - DOC

#238 Can I run my race with an ingrown toenail?

Today on the Doc On The Run podcast, we’re talking about whether or not you should wait until after your race to fix an ingrown toenail. 

I recently got a question from a runner who had an ingrown toenail and she wanted to know, is it okay for me to run my race with an ingrown toenail? 

First of all, ingrown toenails are painful. Everybody knows that. You get a piece of nail that’s kind of embedded in the skin and it’s raw, it’s red, it’s irritated, it’s inflamed, and it hurts. 

First of all, if you do your race with an ingrown toenail, it is definitely going to be painful. That’s not really going to help your race performance very much.

The other thing to consider is that, if you are running a race and you really and truly have an ingrown toenail, all of that motion in the toe from running, all of that friction, all of the rubbing of that inflamed, irritated fold of skin rubbing up against the nail itself, that’s just going to make it worse. 

It’s going to get more irritated, and because the nail is actually going to kind of abrade and further injure that fold of skin, it’s actually a lot more likely to get infected while you’re doing your race.

For those reasons, it’s not really a great idea to just try to tough it out and suffer through the pain because you may pay a price beyond suffering.

The good news is, is that ingrown toenails actually are pretty painful.

They get painful gradually, but you’ve kind of become accustomed to this relatively high level of pain. If you do get your ingrown toenail treated, if you go see a podiatrist, they remove the edge of the nail where it’s stuck in there, where it’s inflamed, where it’s irritating the skin, it’s going to feel a lot better. 

In fact, if you have an ingrown toenail today and your race is tomorrow, and I were to see you and actually remove the ingrown toenail today, you will actually probably feel better during your race the day after having that procedure than you would if you did not have the procedure.

So yes, you can do whatever you want, as long as you’re willing to pay the consequences. If you’re not worried about it getting infected, if you’re not worried about it hurting even more while you’re running your race, then you can run your race with your ingrown toenail. 

You can wait until after your race if you want, but you don’t necessarily have to. You just have to make the decision that’s right for you, and then enjoy your race.



If you have a question that you would like answered as a future addition of the Doc On The Run Podcast, send it to me PodcastQuestion@docontherun.com. And then make sure you join me for the next edition of the Doc On The Run Podcast!