Last week we talked about stubbed toes. When you stub your toe, you know directly what happened to it. There are times that you can injure you toe without knowing that you are injuring it.
Yes, there are indirect toe injuries. Runner’s toe comes to mind. You find out you have runner’s toe (or skier’s toe or tennis toe) at that moment you finish your sport and take off your shoe and notice that your toe nail is black. This happens because your toe is rubbing against the inside of the shoe. The three main reasons that this happens are as follows:
1. Your shoes don’t fit correctly,
2. Your foot is swollen due to hot weather
3. Your toe nails have gotten too long.
The black under the toenail is blood.
There are times that your toe nail turns black and you do not have any pain. If that is the case, you should rest for a couple of days to let it heal. The black mark will not heal and disappear; you will have to wait for the toenail to grow out for the spot to go away.
Often times though, you will experience pain with the blackened toenail. In these instances you definitely need to rest your toe. You need to give it plenty of space in your shoes so it is not rubbing and getting more irritated.
In either case, you need to decide what has caused the problem. If your toenail needs to be cut, make sure you trim the nail straight across. More likely, the problem is your shoes. Go to a running shoe store and get fitted for a new pair of shoes. Make sure that there is plenty of toe room so that you don’t aggravate your toe any more than you have already. (For tips on buying athletic shoes, see our previous post)
But what if you are in pain? Then you need to take some action. The first thing is to rest your toe for a few days and see if it feels better. While you are resting your foot, watch for signs of infection. If the toe is red, feels hot, you start running a fever or you see red streaks from your toe moving up your foot, it is time to get to your friendly local podiatrist right away. You need to have that toe checked for infection. Also, if you are in pain that seems due to pressure or the pain lasts longer than a couple of days, it is time to get to the doctor. It could be that there is too much pressure with the blood under the toenail. The doctor has ways to help reduce the pressure so that you will feel better.
Now, I feel that I have to bring up the other really bad black mark that can be under your toenail. If there is a black (or dark) mark under your toenail that does not grow with your nail, it is time to get to the doctor and have that checked. The black mark can be melanoma. Yes, you can get skin cancer under your nail. It is very serious. I urge you to get your toe checked if you have any question. Believe me, it is very important.
The Foot Blogger Chick
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