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Family Foot Care & Surgery, LLC

Prevent Black Toenails - Protect Your Toes

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There’s nothing that brings out your true grit like running a race in the middle of winter. The 30th Annual Lake Waramaug Polar Bear Run in New Preston, CT is coming up February 23, 2014. This historic and scenic 7.6-mile loop is a winter tradition for many runners, so grab your warm running gear and a non-perishable food item to donate and you are set! If you want to prevent black toenails though, make sure you wear the right kind of shoes.

Black toenails are common among runners and are indicative of trauma to the toe. Often referred to “runner’s toes,” they develop as toes are banged into and shoved against the inside of your running shoes. This most often occurs when you are not wearing the right size or kind of shoe for your foot type. The color, which often appears dark purple or black, comes from bruising. As toes are repeatedly bumped inside shoes, bruising occurs and blood pools under the nail, causing the discoloration.

Prevent black toenails by wearing properly fitted shoes. You should have a thumbnail’s length of space between the end of the shoe and your longest toe. Your foot swells over the course of a day, so fit shoes in the afternoon when your feet are largest. Second, long toenails are another cause for this problem. Keep your toenails properly trimmed and remember to cut them straight across to avoid ingrown toenails. Third, your feet tend to slide around more when they are sweaty. Wear a pair of synthetic socks that will wick moisture away from your feet and keep them from slipping around.

These tips should help you avoid black toenails from trauma, but there are other possible reasons for your discolored nails. Dr. Sanjay Patel at Family Foot Care & Surgery can diagnose the exact cause and offer the correct treat

Dr. Sanjay V. Patel
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Dr. Patel has over 20 years of experience in the field of podiatric medicine and podiatric surgery.
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