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Posts for tag: black toenails

By Dr Arden Smith
February 18, 2020
Category: Toes
Tags: black toenails  
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but if you run regularly, you can pretty much expect a blackened toenail, or two at some point in time.
 
When you get your first one, it’s kind of a sign that you’ve moved your training to a higher level. That’s because black toenails in runners tend to become more common the more you run, and the longer you go. People who run a mile or two at a time, and a couple of days a week, are less likely to experience them than those who train multiple days of the week, hitting at least  5K, roughly 3 miles, per run.
In most cases, black toenails in runners are not something to worry about, and for most people, it just comes with the miles. Some runners even consider it a badge of honor to get their first one, but they can be annoying and unsightly when flip-flop season rolls around.
 
A black toenail is most often caused by a subungual hematoma, a collection of blood under the toenail. If it is painful, please call one of our Advanced Podiatry offices in Manhasset, Huntington, Plainview, or Maspeth as soon as possible and see one of our expert podiatrists at Advanced Podiatry. You will receive almost instantaneous relief with drainage of the hematoma.
By Dr Alison Croughan
November 23, 2019
Category: Foot Care
Tags: black toenails  

                                      

Do you exercise or run? Do you find your nails to be thickened, discolored or painful? This could be due to “repetitive trauma.” What does that actually mean? Constant friction from the ground or shoe gear.  What does this actually do to my nails? It can make them thick, lifted, yellow and even black.

Is a black toenail something to be concerned about? The answer is no.  It is not life threatening. It simply means that due to the friction you have bruising or a collection of blood under the nail plate.  If you have continuous pain and suffered a injury then we would want to investigate further to confirm there are no signs of a fracture or active wound.  

Sometimes to alleviate your discomfort the nail needs to be partially or totally removed but all of this would be discussed after a thorough evaluation.  Sometimes the nail falls off and other times the discoloration grows out over time.

We do not recommended sticking a pin or needle through the nail as that makes the patient much more vulnerable to infection or further harm.

During your appointment we will discuss the need for X-rays, evaluate your shoes for further prevention, custom orthotics if necessary to offload the toes and care for the affected toenail.

 
By Runnersworld.com
April 21, 2017
Category: Foot Injury
Tags: runners   black toenails  
As runners, our most valuable possessions are our feet. And while our tootsies may not win any beauty contests (hello, black toenails and blisters galore), their overall health is crucial, as it impacts our entire skeletal structure, explains Dr. Jacqueline Sutera, D.P.M. and spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association. Turns out, there are lots of little things we do everyday that set us back on this front.

Here, Sutera and two other podiatrists share the widely-practiced, surprisingly harmful habits that damage our feet—and what we should do instead.

Cutting out an Ingrown Toenail Yourself
Why It’s Bad: “Almost everyone will suffer from an ingrown toenail during their life, whether it be the result of an injury, poor fitting shoes, or genetics,” explains Dr. Amanda Meszaros, an Ohio-based podiatrist. Many will attempt to resolve the issue with “bathroom surgery,” i.e. an at-home, self-directed procedure, often performed with non-sterile, ineffective instruments. A common result: a splinter that will fester, cause an infection, or trigger a fleshy growth called pyogenic granuloma that results from minor trauma.

What to Do Instead: “Seek professional help early,” advises Meszaros, noting that in-office treatment is easy, simple, and offers quick relief of symptoms.

Running a Race or Distance Run in a New Pair of Shoes

Why It’s Bad: “I see many runners who get close to a race and think ‘Oh crap, I better get a new pair of sneakers!’” says Dr. Lori Weisenfeld, NYC sports podiatrist. But even if you purchase the exact same model, running in fresh sneaks can give you blisters and/or shin splints simply because they haven’t been broken in yet. “I tell patients to never opt for new shoes in a competitive or distance situation,” explains Weisenfeld.

What to Do Instead: Once you find a sneaker brand and model that works well for you, purchase several pairs and alternate usage, advises Weisenfeld. This means you’ll always have a backup come race day.

Committing to One Shoe Size

Why It’s Bad: It’s a common misconception that once you reach adulthood, your shoe size is set in stone. “Many of us buy the same shoe size year after year without regard to structural changes, and attribute new discomfort to simply aging or wear and tear,” says Meszaros. But as we get older, she explains, “our ligaments and tendons become more lax, our arch height decreases, and the shock absorbing fat that pads our feet thins and atrophies, especially in women.”

What’s more, people over 40 will generally gain length over time as well—up to half a shoe size per decade of life.

What to Do Instead: Consider periodic professional measurement, recommends Meszaros. Also, rather than automatically purchasing your go-to number, test out new kicks in-store, and become aware of the variances in size by brand.  

Fitting Your Street Shoes the Same as Your Athletic Shoes

Why It’s Bad: Athletic shoes shouldn’t fit as snugly as street shoes, explains Weisenfeld, because your feet need more wiggle room when engaging in physical activity. Wearing tight-fitting shoes can cause pain and damage your toenails.

What to Do Instead: When it comes to running shoes, Weisenfeld abides by the “rule of thumb,” which dictates a thumb’s width distance between your longest toe and the front of the shoe. If your toes are closer to the edge, try the next size up.  

Wearing Flats on a Regular Basis

Why It’s Bad: “Many women turn to flats as an alternative at work or for a commute on foot,” says Meszaros, acknowledging the shoes are lightweight, portable and flexible. “But these convenient shoes have little to offer in the way of shock absorption and cause increased pressure on the ball of the foot and heel even with moderate walking.” That lack of support can translate into heel pain from repetitive stress, tendonitis from lack of stability, metatarsalgia (forefoot pain) and stress fractures.

What to Do Instead: “Although athletic shoes with professional attire are frowned upon from a fashion standpoint, newer options in lightweight sport-style shoes in more desirable colors and patterns may provide increased cushioning and less risk of fatigue related injuries,” recommends Meszaros.

Walking Barefoot on Hardwood Floors

Why It’s Bad: When treading on hardwood, cement, stone, or ceramic tile, “there is really nothing to absorb the shock between you and the ground,” explains Sutera. Over time, this behavior can deteriorate your fat pad, which serves as the foot’s natural cushion. Again, women should be especially cognizant of fat pad atrophy, Sutera explains, as they’re more likely to develop it due to hormone changes.

What to Do Instead: Limit your barefoot time to carpet or cork flooring only, and wear comfortable, supportive footgear when on harder indoor surfaces. Sutera’s at-home go-to: plush slippers with a cushy arch support.

Wearing Worn-Out Shoes

Why It’s Bad: Wearing worn-down footwear that doesn’t offer the proper support can hurt not just your feet, but your entire skeleton, reiterates Sutera. “When a shoe is old and worn out, it tilts the way that you stand and walk, and can force your foot to land in a way that’s unnatural and damaging.” Sutera’s response to patients who are reluctant to retire well-worn, cloyingly comfy footwear: “Fast food tastes good, but it’s not good for you. Your favorite old shoes may be harming your health.”

What to Do Instead: Determine your shoe health with the “tabletop test,” says Sutera. Place your footwear on the table and examine it at eye level. If the heel is noticeably worn down and/or deformed, it’s time for a new pair.

 


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