Avoiding Black Toenails for Runners

Time to Run—Without Black Toenails

June is Great Outdoors Month to encourage you to find time to go out and enjoy the world around you. June in Pleasanton, TX, is pretty hot, of course, so spending lots of time outside may not sound very appealing. If you’re a runner, you probably don’t look forward to heat you have to endure. Many runners, however, seek out a way to hit the trail anyway. Heat isn’t the only deterrent from a hard run, though. Uncomfortable and unsightly black toenails can get in the way, too. While you can’t prevent heat, you certainly can work on black toenail prevention.

Black toenails on runners are simply bruises underneath the hard keratin. Repetitive trauma to the ends of your toes injures them, causing your nail bed to leak a little blood. This stains the underside of the hard keratin a dark color. If the blood pools, it can actually create very uncomfortable pressure on your toe that can make wearing some shoes and running fairly unpleasant. Black toenail prevention takes steps to protect your digits from this kind of damage and discolored nails.

Here are the best ways to prevent nail damage:

  • Keep Nails Trimmed – Don’t let your nails get too long. Trim them to match the end of your digit, so they don’t stick out past your toe.
  • Wear Shoes that Fit – Running shoes that are too tight put pressure on the ends of your toes, while shoes that are too big allow your foot to slide forward and bang the front. Get yours fitted correctly so your toes don’t repeatedly bash your shoes.
  • Lace Your Shoes Well – Your shoe laces help keep your foot where it belongs in your footwear, not sliding around. Lace your shoes tightly enough that your feet don’t slip forward.
Black or discolored toenails are also a common symptom of toenail fungus. If you do develop black toenails, don’t worry. There are ways to relieve the pressure on your toes. Let Dr. Darren Silvester and our team at Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic help you. Call our Pleasanton, TX, office at (830) 569-3338 for more information about preventing nail damage, or to make an appointment to take care of painful running toes. 

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