Runners toe describes an injury that affects your toenail, most often on the big toe. People who run regularly, especially for long distances, may notice that their toenail turns purple or black, or even begins to fall off. But what causes this injury, can it be prevented, and what are the treatment options once you've got a runners toe? This post provides all the information you need to stay safe!

What is Runners Toe?  runners in a race experiencing runners toe

Runners toe injuries mostly affect your toneail, changing its color and appearance. But this condition may also create pain or pressure under the nail; pus or blood blisters may develop, the skin around the nail can swell, and your nail may even fall off. 

The problems begin when blood pools beneath your nail. It gets there because you subject that nail to repeated trauma, usually by hitting it against the front of your shoe. Over and over and over again. In turn, that force damages blood vessels, allowing blood to leak out and get trapped beneath the nail.

 

Can You Prevent Runners Toe?

There are several ways to prevent this injury. First, buy a sneaker that leaves you just a bit of wiggle room in the toe, without letting your feet slide around. This can help prevent the trauma of toenails slamming into your shoe end.

Next, make sure to keep your nails trimmed closely. Just be sure to leave a little bit of white nail visible, since cutting nails too far down makes you more likely to develop an ingrown toenail.

Finally, take a break from running if you notice little changes in the appearance of your nail, or if your nails feel sore after a run. At that time, check the fit of your sneakers, to make sure they're not contributing to a runners toe injury,
 

Help for Black Toenails in Powder Springs, GA

If you've already developed runners toe, don't worry: you don't need to spend the rest of your days staring down a discolored toenail. Now, if your injury isn't painful, we may decide to watch the toenail and make sure it is healing, without any intervention. But if you experience pain or find it hard to walk or run, you may need an intervention. In that case, we may suggest a procedure to drain the blood from beneath your nail, relieving your pain and speeding up the healing process.

While many cases of runners toe won't need treatment, it's still important to come into the office when you notice changes in your nail appearance. Why is that the case? Some runners toe injuries can damage your nail matrix, meaning you'll never regrow a healthy nail. To prevent that from happening, it's important that you seek medical care right away. That way, we can watch your injury and intervene before you suffer permanent damage.

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