Run for long enough, and sooner or later, youБll find yourself with a black toenail, a. k. a. runnerБs toe. БIf you want to start becoming a runner, be prepared to have your nails injured,Б says, a podiatrist in Vancouver. бCaused by toes rubbing up against the inside of your shoes, black toenails are often the result of long runs and running downhill. HereБs how to avoid them Ббand 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. БYou want to get your shoes fit at a professional running shoe store, later in the day, when your feet are a little bit swollen,Б 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,б a Waterloo-based podiatrist. Make sure the shoe is deep enough for your foot, and that it doesnБt 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 theyБre less likely to hit your shoes. БCut your nails and run once before you run a race,Б 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 donБt hurt, and most donБt lead to the nail falling off.
See a podiatrist to make sure everythingБs okay. If it hurts, thereБs 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 БThere are some off the shelf treatments,Б 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: Suck it up and find a new fetish? We kid, we kid. (Sort of ) First, take comfort in the fact that you re not the only guy whose girlfriend s toenails have crossed over to the dark side. anywhere from 2. 5 to 14 percent of marathoners experience the phenomenon researchers like to call jogger s toe.
Most black nails are the result of a hematoma (a bruise) under the nail. The bruise can cause swelling, and separate the nail from the nail bed. The thing is, once the nail is black, there s not much you can do except wait for it to fall off and get replaced, naturally. She could paint the offending nail teams of collegiate runners have painted their nails dark colors for cosmetic purposes, but that s up to her. Of course, scarier things could cause a nail to turn black. It could be the result of a, or even worse, a malignant melanoma that s developed under the nail. A visit to the doctor will quickly rule out either of these diagnoses. Let s say she has jogger s nail, which she likely does. It s the result of repeated trauma to the nail. If she were to maintain a cadence of 180 steps per minute while running a four-hour marathon in ill-fitting shoes, she could potentially slam her toe into the front of her sneakers 21,600 times.
That s quite a beating. What you can do, oh helpful boyfriend, is take her to buy new shoes. As the paper cited above advises, lacing should be tight enough to keep the foot from sliding forward without restricting circulation, and the anterior toe box should be high and long enough to allow unrestricted dorsal flexion of the toes and minor forward slippage. Also: learn to love the toe as a symbol of your girlfriend s commitment to fitness. Black toenails happen to the best of runners, even when shod in a proper pair of shoes. THE BOTTOM LINE: A minor bruise under the nail is probably causing the blackness. Try new shoes! Or a slick of trendy gunmetal gray polish should do the trick.