Bindi Irwin never realized the toll dancing would take on her toes!Animal lover Steve Irwin was known for giving his all for his passion—and it seems like his daughter Bindi is no different.

The 17-year-old Aussie is currently competing with pro-partner Derek Hough on Dancing with the Stars and the endless hours of dance training have taken a toll on her feet! After her most Grace-Kelly inspired performance this week, Bindi admitted to Us Magazine,  “"My feet are really gross…they are actually superglued right now because I lost another [toenail] in dress rehearsal! I just have holes in my feet and my nails keep popping off, but if I superglue them they don't hurt as much."

Not only is this problem gross, it’s also a fairly common ailment amongst athletes, especially runners, dancers, skiers and tennis players (basically anyone whose feet are constantly pushed up against the hard force of a shoe or boot.)

But just because it’s common doesn’t mean you have to live with the pain of losing your nails. Here are 4 ways to avoid this injury, courtesy of Prevention magazine:

1. Start with your shoes.
Make sure your shoes fit properly—you want a thumb’s width between the tip of the toe and the front of the shoe.

2. Moisturize your toenails.
Before your workout, slather nails with a urea lotion or coconut oil. A softer, less brittle nail is less likely to break.

3. Be a square.
Maintain a square-shaped toenail—digging around the edges to get a round shape can weaken the nail.

4. Treat injured nails immediately.
As soon as you see a black and blue nail, see your podiatrist. If you act quickly, you may save the nail.

You have to admire Bindi Irwin’s resilience, but for those of us not competing on national television, there is no reason to suffer from the pain of broken toe nails. If sports have left your toenails in disarray, schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew Schneider immediately!

Dr. Andrew Schneider
Connect with me
A podiatrist and foot surgeon in Houston, TX.