Background:

This study examines the possible influence of factors such as nail shape and consistency, sex, and sports activity on the development of the most common nail disorders in a population of young people.

Methods:

The nail plates of 140 young people (66 females and 74 males) were studied. Of these 140 participants, 72 were runners who trained more than 10 hours a week and competed regularly, and 68 did not habitually do any sports activity. Nail shape, consistency, and disorders were examined, taking into account the sex of the participants and their sports activity.

Results:

A hard nail consistency is more frequent in runners (74.4%) than in people who do no sports activity (25.6%). In contrast, a soft nail consistency is more prevalent in participants who do no sports activity (70%) than in runners (30%). It was also shown that onychocryptosis is related to sex, as females had a higher prevalence of this nail disorder (57.8%, P = .016). However, young male runners showed the highest and most significant percentage of the presence of onychocryptosis (74.1%; P = .002).

Conclusions:

Sports activity by young male runners whose nails have a hard consistency seems to be directly related to the high incidence of onychocryptosis in this population.

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