"Dear Katie" Bonus Question: How to Deal with Sore Toes

January 25, 2015

Katie photographed by Nathan Sayers. She’s so purty!

Good morning, everyone! Are you totally obsessed with “Dear Katie” yet? Because I still can’t get over the fact that Kathryn Morgan—the former New York City Ballet soloist currently dispensing dance tips over at “If the Pointe Shoe Fits“—is writing an advice column for DS. She’s just so talented! And so beautiful! And so wise!

In fact, Katie had so much wisdom to share in her February column that we couldn’t fit it all in the print issue. So here, for your snowy-day reading pleasure, is a bonus February question. And believe me when I say that if you suffer from ingrown toenails (or any other variety of sore toes), Katie’s answer will be LIFE-CHANGING.

Enjoy! If you have a question of your own for Katie, send it to [email protected].

Dear Katie,

How can you prevent ingrown toenails? Is there anything you can do to ease the pain when you have to dance on them?


An ingrown toenail—when the corner or side of a toenail grows into the surrounding skin—can be incredibly painful. To prevent ingrown toenails, podiatrists recommend three things. First, trim your nails straight across, with no rounded corners. Second, make sure your dance and street shoes aren’t too tight. If ingrown toenails are a recurring problem for you, you might want to consider going up a size. Finally, keep your feet clean. Sweaty feet are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, so if you don’t clean them well, your nails are more likely to become infected.

To cure ingrown toenails, try soaking your feet in warm, soapy water several times a day. But if your toe is infected, see a doctor so he or she can prescribe an antibiotic.

Unfortunately, odds are you’ll end up having to dance on a mildly ingrown toenail at some point. I have a little secret for you: Head to your drugstore and buy a numbing gel called Oral-B. It’s actually for gum and tooth pain, but it can also be used on ingrown toenails and corns. Apply it over the painful area and wait a few minutes to let it sink in. I absolutely swear by it!