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Bruised? Under Toe Nails?


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#1 lyricnz

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 10:25 AM

Hi CRers

A quick question. The other day one of my big toe nails was feeling a bit sore to the touch (pressing on nail). I didn't think anything of it, but in the few days since then, I first had a black/reddish blob appear under both big toenails, matching on each side. It's a little smaller than 5c piece (I'm a size 13 shoe), and doesn't really hurt anymore, but I'm wondering what it is?

Blood blister?  Bruise?

I'm breaking in a new set of shoes at the moment, some less-structured MR10s, but not really having any other issues there.

Cheers, Simon

Edited by lyricnz, 11 August 2011 - 10:26 AM.


#2 SurfStrider

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 10:44 AM

Essentially it is bruised under the nail. Pretty common when doing long runs (more so on trails - the downhill sections are the worst as your foot can move forward and the toenail touches the end of the shoe - you won't notice any pain at the time, but the repeated pressure seems to do the job).

It could be suggesting that your new shoes are not the right size - too small or too large around the heel (and hence your foot is sliding forward in the shoe), or the toe box isn't big enough.

Also you will probably end up losing that toenail - it takes a while, but they generally come off eventually and then take a while to grow back.  Losing the nail is generally not painful, unless a bit is still attached to the skin and starts tugging on that.

No other side effects really to losing a nail, unless you like to wear nail polish and show off your pretty toes (sure your name is Simon, but you never know what rocks someones boat).

I've lost a fair few over the years and it seems to be hit and miss for me - sometimes I'll wear a pair of shoes and not have a problem and then another long run in the same shoes will cause the problem (either a case of different downhill sections or technique or not doing the shoes up tight enough around the top). I remember reading stories about people having them surgically removed - seems drastic for something that has never really caused me much trouble, but maybe the pain can be worse...

#3 noodles

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 10:46 AM

Sounds like a bruise. I don't know about other runners but I usually have at least one black toenail on the go at any given time! Lucky I am a girl and can paint them to hide it :)

#4 cjr

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 10:51 AM

My toenails are in a constant state of recycling - in fact some of them have almost giving up trying to grow back properly

#5 iangallagher16

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 11:02 AM

My feet are quite wide. Every single pair of shoes I buy gives me black toenails and there isn't anything I can do about it. The blister generally forces the toenail off it's bed and after a few months it falls off all together. I currently have 6 toenails :)

#6 lyricnz

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 11:15 AM

Thanks for the feedback, folks.  Heheh, my wife already thinks I'm strange enough with the anti-chafing lube, occasional bloody feet or nipples, and all the squicky stuff that comes with technical diving (p-valves, lube, talk, strange undergarments and suits), that painting my nails might just be too much :)

I love my new shoes, they're a bit bigger in the toe-box than my old/current ones. It made me realise that I actually run with curled toes, which means that I get blister/callous in the ends of my toes, not the bottoms. In the new shoes, I spread my toes a bit more, which is way more comfortable/relaxed, and in line with attempting to run more ... fluidly.

#7 southy

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 12:02 PM

I am frequently missing a nail too (at any given point in time) and always have one or two black ones. Mainly from running fast (or at least trying to!) downhill in races.

Things I have found that help are:

1- to keep my toe nails cut as short as possible and
2- to take a pummice stone (or nail file, emory board, etc) and 'sand' over the them the night before a race. Mainly to remove any rough edges that my shoe might catch on and cause trauma or rubbing to the nail.

I have certain toes that are worse offenders than others (toe nail seems to turn up a bit towards the end).
Also certain shoes are worse offenders than others (racing shoes that fit very well), rather than trainers with plenty of toe room.
It really seems to be caused by the nail ends rubbing on the shoe upper in my case while I am racing downhill.
When I remember to prepare better the night before I have less problems after the race with painful blisters under my toe nails (then they turn black & eventually fall off). They can be really painful for a few days but then they stop hurting and just look bad. If you like to you can always put purple or bright red polish over them to hide the color.

Edited by southy, 11 August 2011 - 12:03 PM.


#8 vat

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 12:55 PM

Yeah, toe shunt. Might be worth checking out different lacing methods.

#9 BlueZed

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 01:17 PM

I have just two words for you ... SUBUNGUAL HEMATOMA.

I am just surprised that this the first one you have gotten.   :)

#10 lyricnz

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 01:20 PM

View Postvat, on 11 August 2011 - 12:55 PM, said:

Yeah, toe shunt. Might be worth checking out different lacing methods.

From another CR thread about similar issue - http://www.newbalanc...m/lacing-guide/

#11 cjr

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 01:29 PM

I have tried just about everything and now given up worrying about it. I read somewhere that everytime one falls off the underlying "foundations" (for want of a better word) get weaker so they grow back weaker

#12 Stej

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 08:37 PM

I managed to get bruises under a couple of toenails back at the end of August this year.  It happened on a day that I went trail running and later in the day played squash.  I am not sure whether it was one or the other or both that contributed to the toe bruising.  I have not had this problem before or since and am satisfied that my shoes are the right size.  

Having watched the slow death of my toenails - bruised, to lanced, to lifting, to deadish looking (not nice and pink and healthy), to partly gone (my pruning of the nails as they lifted), I have a couple of questions I'd like help with  :unknw: :

1.  Once badly enough bruised is it inevitable that the nail will die / come off?  
2.  Once the nails start to lift up do you just chop them back or leave them?
3.  One of my nails appears to have a dodgy second / new nail growing behind it - is this usual?
4.  The two toenails affected are on my second toes (ie next to big toe).  What is weird to me is that these are not my longest toes.  I would have thought it would be the longer toes that would be affected?
5.  Once the toenails are dead, half gone or gone is there anything special you need to do to ensure there are no issues with infection?  :shok:
6.  How long roughly does it take to recycle a toenail back to normal?

Thanks  :hi:

Stej.

#13 silvermachine

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 06:09 AM

Hello Stej,

I am about a month in front of you (trail race at end July) so will try to answer your questions according to my experience:
1. Yes, I think if the nail is broken at the root.
2. Chop 'em when there is no pain underneath and to stop them getting in the way.
3. I noticed a thin flakey second nail underneath also, and assumed this was normal.
4. My second toe is my longest toe and I have done that toe on both feet and have removed both nails as they lifted. I have also damaged the next nail along on one foot a few weeks ago from landing that toe directly against a rock - something that only ever happens in trail races as I push it more than when in training. The pain at the time was enough to tell me that I would be losing another nail. I have done the same nail on the other foot but only partially, so I think I will keep it.
5. I have had no issue with infection. The pain only lasted 3-4 days.
6. A month ahead of you and I have thin nails now exposed which feel fine but would not yet be as strong as the other nails. I hope they get strong!

Hope this helps.



#14 Stej

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 11:32 AM

Thanks silvermachine - it is reassuring to know that my toenail experiences are not too unusual.  In fact I'm not really missing those toenails at all and seem to be doing fine without them.  I told my nephew (5 yo) when he asked that the toenails fell of because I didn't eat enough of my broccoli  :) I wonder if this will have the desired effect...