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Black Toenail / Runner's Toe
A No Cost, Little Pain Solution

Black Toenails Ever suddenly had a black toenail, also known as a runner's toe, after running?

Considering you are reading this at this moment you might have one right now!

This is not a very bad running injury, but it is one that does require immediate action.

And a little bravery. I am not the bravest myself, so if I can do it (and I have done it!), then you can as well.

So, read on right away and I'll answer the following questions for you:

  • How do you get a black toenail?

  • How do you treat one?

  • How do you prevent one?

  • How Do You Get a Black Toenail?

    So, how do you end up with a black toenail? Often, either running in a new pair of shoes, or without socks can cause this type of running injury. It's got to do with the extra friction at the front of the foot.

    I have had a runner's toe once when I was running on shoes which were long overdue. I guess that was also a moment when I was experiencing extra friction and movement in the shoe.

    How to Treat a Black Toenail?

    The good news is that you can treat a runner's toe quite easily, albeit with a little bit of pain attached.

    All you need to do is insert a red-hot needle into the middle of your nail. This will help release the blood from under your nail. You can either do this yourself, or get your GP to carry it out. Make sure you use a nail that is properly sterilized.

    Be aware: you either do this straight away, or you don't do it at all. Wait too long, and the blood dries up. Then pushing that needle in your nail will still hurt, but will not get you anywhere!

    If you let the blood dry up, there is nothing to do about your runner's toe. What usually happens is that the blood takes up too much space, then pushes the nail until it falls off.

    It's not a really bad outcome, but it just means that you can be stuck with the black toenail and with the discomfort for days or weeks. In addition, regrowing the nail takes time and during this time the area will remain tender which can really disrupt your running.

    So be brave and take action immediately!

    How to Prevent a Black Toenail?

    Since it's usually just a case of new shoes or not wearing any socks, a runner's toe is quite easy to prevent. Simply wear good running socks and good running shoes.

    Especially when your shoes are really new or really old this can happen, so make sure you replace your shoes in time. Old shoes is bad for many reasons, runner's toe maybe being one of the least of your worries.

    So replace your running shoes in time.

    Also keep in mind to gradually get used to your new running shoes.

    Don't do a 2-3 hour long run in your new shoes first thing for example.... :)

    Sounds straightforward, but you don't want to know how many make the mistake!

    Further recommended reading:

  • Learn all about good running shoes in the page with running socks for men or running socks for women.

  • Need new running shoes? Then the running shoes page is the place to go.

  • Check out the foot pain page which covers some more foot issues.

  • Interested in more running tips and running injury advice ?
    Subscribe to the Best Running Tips Newsletter or to my site blog.

    Go from Black Toenail / Runner's Toe Page to Running Injuries Page

    Go from Black Toenail / Runner's Toe to Best Running Tips Homepage

    Running Injuries
    Running Injury Prevention
    Foot Injuries: Foot Pain | Black Toenail | Stress Fractures | Posterior Tibial Tendonitis |
    Heel Injuries: Heel Pain | Achilles Tendinitis | Heel Spur / Plantar Fasciitis |
    Knee Injuries: Knee Pain | Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITB) |
    Leg Injuries: Leg / Calf Cramps | Shin Splints | Hamstring Injury | Hip Pain
    Upper Body Injuries: Nipple Chafing | Side Stitch | Back Pain | Chest Pain

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