Dancers are at increased risk of a multitude of foot conditions. Because dance relies so heavily on utilizing the feet, dancers will often develop conditions that are unique to them and their colleagues. However, dancers are also more prone to common conditions affecting the feet and toe, like tired feet, corns and calluses, and ingrown toenails. Ingrown toenails are the result of excessive pressure placed on the part of the toe near the corner of the toenail. When this condition develops, the nail will start growing into the skin. Dancing is one of the big risk factors for developing an ingrown toenail.

Dancing requires heavy utilization of the toes and feet. While dancing, the toe of the foot is often pressurized and required to hold the weight of the body. This is especially common in dance styles based on ballet. Ballet is especially dangerous for developing ingrown toenails, as going “en pointe” requires the dancer to stand completely on the tip of the toe. This delicate balance puts the entire weight of the body on the exact point where an ingrown toenail can form. Dancing in this position frequently greatly increases the risk of an ingrown toenail. 

Aside from ballet, other styles of dancing also increase risk of ingrown toenails. When wearing shoes, the sudden movements of dance can push the toe into the surface of the shoe. This also increases the pressure on the part of the toe where an ingrown can form. Because of this, dancers of all styles must be very careful to maintain proper toenail hygiene by keeping the nails cut straight across and at a moderate length.

Dancing with an ingrown toenail can be extremely painful, and make the condition worse. If you are a dancer with an ingrown toenail, you should seek a consultation with a licensed podiatrist immediately to be able to resume your normal dance practice as soon as possible. To schedule your consultation with a podiatrist, give us a call at (424)-299-4627 or visit our website for more information.