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why do toenails turn black from running

Run for long enough, and sooner or later, youll find yourself with a black toenail, a. k. a. runners toe. If you want to start becoming a runner, be prepared to have your nails injured, says, a podiatrist in Vancouver. Caused by toes rubbing up against the inside of your shoes, black toenails are often the result of long runs and running downhill. Heres how to avoid them and what to do if you have one. 1. Wear the right shoe size
Give your toes a bit of breathing room by buying the right shoes. You want to get your shoes fit at a professional running shoe store, later in the day, when your feet are a little bit swollen, says Mathews.


Pick shoes with enough space to fit the width of your pinkie between your longest toe and the end of the shoe, says, a Waterloo-based podiatrist. Make sure the shoe is deep enough for your foot, and that it doesnt have any seams near your toes. Click here for more on. 2. Trim your toenails Same problem, different answer: keep your toenails nicely trimmed, and theyre less likely to hit your shoes. Cut your nails and run once before you run a race, suggests Hartman. 3. Wear the right socks Moisture increases the chances of your foot slipping towards the front of your shoe.


Wear workout-specific socks, which wick away moisture, rather than cotton or wool ones. Our fitness expert James Fell swears by his running socks. Follow the jump for. 4. Look out for hammer toes The second most-common cause of black toes are hammer toes, says Dr. Mathews, which bend too far down. They can be straightened by a podiatrist. 5. Leave it alone Most black toenails dont hurt, and most dont lead to the nail falling off. See a podiatrist to make sure everythings okay. If it hurts, theres signs of infection, or the nail is loose it could be a more serious issue.


If everything s fine, the damaged black portion will grow out naturally as a new nail comes in. 6. Try a quick fix There are some off the shelf treatments, says Dr. Mathews, adding that some of his patients swear by. The ultimate simple solution? Cover up the blackness with nail polish while you wait for it to grow out. A black toenail doesnt necessarily require a doctors visit the need for medical treatment depends on the initial cause. Knowing the cause can help you make this decision. On the flipside, if you dont know the cause, its a good idea to see your doctor just in case your black toenail is a sign of a serious medical condition.


Not all cases of toenail fungus require a doctors visit. However, if you also have diabetes, you should see your doctor for treatment. A dermatologist can also help diagnose and treat black toenail. Youll need to see a dermatologist if you suspect melanoma. However, if your black toenail is caused by another underlying health issue, such as diabetes, then youll also need to see your primary doctor to treat the cause. Any black toenail that doesnt go away should be looked at by a doctor.

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