Staying Clear of Black Toenails

bruised toenailWith the miles of running trails and rugged terrain around here, odds are quite likely that the majority of runners toeing a starting line have toes that are sporting black toenails!

That’s because a main cause of this condition is repetitive stress to the nail, causing blood to pool beneath it. Runners’ toes often jam against the front of their shoes, especially when running downhill, so if you are training for a Palm Desert race or just simply logging a lot of miles, beware! You’ll not only want to follow a trail map, but also these tips for preventing black toenails:

If the shoe fits, wear it (otherwise, don’t)! Shoes that are too small will force toes to rub against the front of the shoes, too big and feet will slide back and forth crashing toes against the front over and over again. Both situations cause excessive pressure and friction against the toenails. Avoid this by making sure your shoes have the proper fit with a thumb’s width between your longest toe and front of the shoe.

Tighten loose laces. If you do a lot of downhill running, lace shoes tighter in the front to hold toes snugly in place.

Keep nails trimmed. To lessen the chances of nail trauma, trim nails straight across and even with the tips of your toes.

Wear wicking socks. Because fungus that finds its way under your nail is another reason it may be turning black, protect your feet by keeping them clean and dry with socks that wick away moisture.

If you do notice signs of a black toenail, it’s best to have Dr. Harvey Danciger take a look at it to rule out the possibility of a fungal infection or melanoma. You can reach our Palm Desert, CA office at (760) 568-0108 or by using our online contact form to ask questions or make an appointment. We will be happy to assist you!

Dr. Harvey Danciger
Dr. Harvey Danciger is a podiatrist and foot surgeon in Palm Desert, CA specializing in the foot and ankle
Comments are closed.