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Ingrown nails and shoe fit fails

Original Post
Baba Fats · · Philadelphia, PA · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

So this is not really about an injury.  But I wanted to know if anyone else has issues with ingrown toenails and what they do to deal with it.  

I have been getting ingrown toenails on all of my toes since I was about 12.  It's a predisposition based on just how curved my nails are.  And the ingrown nails are not your typical ones where the front edge of the nail is curving into the tip of your toe (Mine get ingrown at the back of the nail).  It's already a very difficult process to find street shoes that are comfortable, let alone climbing shoes.  I've settled on Scarpa because they generally have wider toe boxes.  Evolv are great fits, too.  But the crazy lack of sensitivity keeps me from using them for bouldering (the only climbing i do).

Since I started climbing about 10 months ago, i have removed each nail on each foot (myself) at least twice.  And I've been to the podiatrist almost once a month to have a few complications taken care of.

Normally, when I have a problem, or remove a nail, I just wrap up the toe in a bandaid, pop some advil, and go to the gym with no problems (soak my feet when I get home).  But a few weeks ago, i went to a shoe demo at my gym and tried on a bunch of new models.  I did find a pair I liked, but some of the others really beat up my feet, and I had 4 toenails break into pieces (over the span of the next week).  I had them fixed, but now I'm stuck with gauze wrapped around 2 of my toes, making them too bulky to fit into my new Instincts.  

I've talked with my doctor, and we're discussing permanently removing either the whole nail or part of it on all of my toes.  I'm just wondering if anyone has had similar issues, what you've done to deal with it.  And if you  have had permanent removals, how did it work out (nails are there to protect your bones, but also to give your toes some rigidity)

highaltitudeflatulentexpulsion · · Colorado · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 35

If your Dr will remove them, do it.

I never quite had nail issues like yours but the few times I've lost a big toenail, always due to running issues, I loved my shoe fit afterward.

I used to do a 20 mile run every Saturday morning, I once did it with some tape around my toe due to a cut or blister. After the run the nail was purple, within a week it fell off and it looked and smelled like meat. Once the soreness went away, my shoes fit awesome for like 4 or 5 months while it grew back.

Baba Fats · · Philadelphia, PA · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

That's the plan for, probably, this coming fall.  It's just annoying me this week because I've never let an ingrown nail stop me from climbing before.  But on Saturday, I only lasted less than an hour before the pain was so bad that I was more focused on placing my foot in a way that didn't hurt instead of in a spot that would help my project

ViperScale . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 235

Lost a big toenail onetime from a sideways dyno that clipped the wall and when it finally fell off that was the best my climbing shoes have ever felt. I have considered having them permanently removed ever since. I forget what it is called but I know there is some kinda thing you can get and put on it that toughens the skin and helps stop the ingrown nails. I think it is a prescription though, my dad had it when I was growing up.

Baba Fats · · Philadelphia, PA · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

Stopping ingrown nails will be impossible for me.  Just the way they grow in makes it happen.  When you get them removed permanently, the doctor uses phenol to chemically cauterize the nail bed and kill the root that would grow back.  I used to have it done around the edges of nails, but not enough nail was ever taken off to stop it from happening again

Downtownt Kay · · Everett, WA · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 110

I had ingrown toenail surgery on my left big toe after having them chronically as a child for years.
Mostly the one toe was the worst, so much pain and infection, finally when i was around like 13 years old we opted for the surgery to remove the lateral half of my left big toenail. they numbed it up, cut into the half of the nail and then they injected that poison that kills the nail root(?) or wherever it starts. the nail stopped growing in that area of the nail bed.

while i still have to be diligent with my toenails (they are very curved and when i used to get pedicures the ladies always laughed at my tiny nail beds). i have not had anywhere near the pain since then (27 now). no more infection. the nail still grows relatively deep (compared to other peoples) but i can reach it myself.

they say the poison to kill the nail at the bed doesnt work in about 12% of the population (if i remember properly..) but if you've had the same procedure done before, then you know whats up.

and if it just didn't work because they didn't remove enough nail, charge ahead and get it done!

I have fungus now in the big toe from a pedi gone wrong (havent gotten one since) and every now and then i just wanna tear that fucker off. From the sounds of it, it will cause you more relief than problems

Baba Fats · · Philadelphia, PA · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

Sorry, copying an online article isn't helpful if it's on the first page of a google search.  We all know what ingrown nails are

slim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2004 · Points: 1,085

interesting post.  i have been having issues with both big toenails for a few months now.  i remember reading some other posts where people had their toenail permanently removed.  curious to see how this has worked for various people.

Baba Fats · · Philadelphia, PA · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

I have had pieces permanently removed, but I'm in that 12% of people where is grows back anyway.  Haven't had the whole nail done yet, but I'll be talking to my podiatrist about in it the next few months.  I'll keep this thread updated

Baba Fats · · Philadelphia, PA · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

Thanks for the tips, but my ingrown toenails are severe enough to require medical attention.  My toes are extra sensitive to any tiny microscopic piece of nail.  My podiatrist is really pushing full nail removal for all of my toes on both feet.  Once my recently removed nails grow back, we’ll probably start making appointments to do that.  

Soaking in anything isn’t good enough until after she pulls the fragments out.

Plus I don’t get ingrown nails where you normally get them (up at the front of the nail).  I get the growing backwards into the nail bed by the matrix of where new nail grows from

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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