Whether running beneath summer sun, through autumn leaves, or over winter snow, some dedicated athletes just don’t stop training for their next big event or personal best. These serious pavement pounders likely have the tracking data and pairs of worn out shoes to prove it, too. Another thing they might have is black toenails.
Some runners wear their bruised toenails as a symbol of pride, although in many cases they’re preventable. In the long run, however (pun intended), if you are going to get a discolored nail, running beats the other possibilities.
Running, especially in improperly fitting shoes, can create a consistent, repetitive impact of the toes against the inside of the shoe. This can lead to the bruising that makes a black toenail black. In these cases, the toenail may fall off and grow back, but it usually doesn’t cause a lot of pain.
It’s when you go into other causes that things become more cringe-worthy. A big impact against a toe, such as dropping a heavy object on it, can cause more bleeding to occur beneath the tail. This often causes pressure and, with it, a throbbing pain. This condition should often be professionally drained by a doctor, and the situation beneath the nail might need to be checked for severe injury too.
Other causes of discolored, blackened toenails can include a fungal infection or melanoma. The latter is especially rare, but definitely worth checking out if you have dark spot on your nail that isn’t going away.
If black is plaguing your nails, Dr. Sanjay Patel can determine the cause, provide treatment, and show you ways to prevent the bruising or discoloration from returning. Schedule an appointment at Family Foot Care & Surgery by calling either of our two offices: (203) 876-7736 for Milford or (203) 288-4055 for Hamden.