Jeff Galloway, an inspirational speaker and trainer, has worked with over 200,000 people to pursue their running and training goals. He says he has had “hundreds” of black toenails over his 45 years of running experience. It is common for runners who do a harder run than normal to wake up the next morning and find one of their toenails has turned black.

This condition is caused by blood pooling beneath the nail. If your shoes don’t have enough room in the toes, or are not laced up properly, your toes can jam against the front of the shoe with every stride. Irritation causes fluid to build-up under the nail, and tiny capillaries may break and leak blood into the fluid. This blood is what makes the toenail look dark red or black.

So what are the effects of black toenail? Unsightly nails is one. Some people use polish to hide the nail until it is healed. The pressure of the fluid under the nail can cause pain. If it persists, you may need to contact Fixing Feet Institute to have the nail lanced, which will allow the fluid to drain. The nail will usually end up separating from the bed, and you will end up losing the nail. The new nail underneath may seem thin and bumpy at first, but your nail should grow out and look normal again in a few months.

If your black toenail causes you a lot of pain that doesn’t recede after a day or two, or if you notice redness, swelling or warmth around the nail, be sure to have your black toenail checked out. Call us in Surprise, AZ at 623-584-5556 and let us take a look. Let us help you get back on your feet again!

Dr. Viedra V. Elison
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Founder and Managing Partner of Fixing Feet Institute
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