bruised toe nail

Dos any one know the cure and the course for bruised toes big toes its painfull iv put ice on them and heated them.


  • Sounds as if your shoes are too small. I had that problem when I started running and was advised to wear a size bigger. This allows your feet to expand when they get hot whilst running without causing problems.
  • My second toenail is purple and about to fall off from my last pair of running shoes! I have just bought new shoes 1/2 size bigger and have had no problems as yet. Too late to save toenail though!
  • Runners' nails. Wonderful! A real badge of achievement once the pain has gone.

    The painful black appearance of the nail of the longest toe of one or both feet is thought to be caused by traction on the underside of the toe pulling the nail base off the nail with little bleeds from the tiny blood vessels. Wearing shoes which are long enough, have a big enough toebox, and fit properly at the heel so that your feet don't slip in them, is important. Make sure your socks fit properly too.

    Having said that, I'm obsessional about my running footwear (and it seems to be working, because I have no hard skin and have only ever had one small blister, at the end of a marathon) but the nail of my left second toe is eeurgh-inspiring.

    Cheers, V-rap.
  • As well as the advice you've already been given, I found that keeping the toenails cut short also helped.
  • Boots do a kind of foam toe protector which seems to help (looks like a foam thimble which you just pop on over you toe before putting sock on).
  • Best advice is to make sure shoes are big enough, wear good socks, and make sure the seams don't chafe the toes, and to keep the nails cut short. This avoids them getting pushed away from the toes with every step. Also, if they are a bit thickened, use a nail file to file away some of the thickness (don't overdo it), this will decrease the pressure on the toe underneath,
  • Hey Steve, welcome to the real runner's world! If your toenail is black and traumatized, still sore, it's most likely got blood pooled just under the nail. See a specialist to get it drained, and to prevent future problems, do as all the others have said and ensure your shoes and socks fit properly. Oh and don't slam your feet when running downhill, try to flow freely and not brake too much, this causes your toes to get jammed against the front of the shoes, hence the bruised nails.
  • Sheila Anne, this is not so easy in practice!! Previous advice though is good - buy the next size of shoe and make sure you buy socks that don't cause blisters - and when the toenail ultimately disconnects be sure not to leave it on the edge of the bath.

  • Sythree, you just need to practice. When running fast downhill, don't overstride, take small steps and go with gravity. If the hill is extremely steep and you're training (not in a race!), try zigzagging like in a ski slalom, works for me. Protect those nails at all costs.
  • Hadn't thought of that - good thinking, SA.

  • Hi, I have brilliant shoes and the perfect size but they're not protecting my toe nails! One (my second toe) has a hard thick nail and though I file it and wear good blister proof socks it's gone that dark yucky colour and is threatening to come away! - and now a second toe is having problems! - the one next to my small toe. My shoes are spacious but I'm terrified I'm going to end up with no toe nails - any suggestions other than bigger shoes? - I can't go too big or else I'll look like Ronald MacDonald!
  • DeeDee, I'm no expert, but it does sound like your trainers may be too small. Why not try the same model in a slightly larger size - even going up a half size could make all the difference. You won't look like Ronald MacDonald, I promise! Most of my shoes are a size 6, but I have size 7 trainers now. Not one bruised toenail since going up a size!
  • Well, dispite all the precautions, my second toe nail has finally fallen off, due to the FLM.

    I have no pain, but obviously the 'new' nail underneath is softish and not exactly looking right.

    HELP!! all you seasoned nail-losers, do you ever visit a chiropodist(sp) or do you just hope the nail ends up ok?

    Deev (thinking about visiting a chiropodist)
  • I too have experienced nail loss. On the advice of an expert I increased my trainer size and wear 1.5 sizes larger than my normal shoe size. My socks are comfortable and seemless around the toe area and my trainers also feel comfortable. I keep my toenails short and I zigzag down steep hills too! Now into 5th week of training for NYC marathon and again my 2nd toe on right foot is bruising. I'm at a loss!!
  • Hi Devious - I went to a chiropodist, who was very helpful and not really too expensive.

    *do not read below if a bit squeamish*
    He removed the toenails which were in that really painful stage of about to fall off/I was worried they would get ripped off - they felt how your teeth do when they wobble when you're a little kid! This didn't hurt at all, he advised trying slightly larger trainers but going to a proper shop for running shoes rather than your standard high street as shoes that are genuinely too big can cause as many problems.

    Also my toenails looked completely bizarre when growing back, not like nails at all really lumpy. Chiropodist advised this would happen and was normal. Somehow they just start to look like proper nails, doesn't take too long - mine look gorgeous now and a smashing shade of scarlet too.

    The Hat.
  • I have just completed my first half marathon and my third toe was bleeding nearly all the way around! Now my big toe nail and toe has gone black, I have been to the doctors and he gave me some tablets which I had to stop taking as they made me feel sick. The toe is still hurting and I can't get my trainers on, has anyone got any ideas about what I could do? Besides chop off the big toe!
  • sam,

    It may be too late now, but if you finish a run with a bruised toe heat a needle and CAREFULLY!! make a hole in the nail and squeeze the blood out. If the nail's already lifting under the pressure, it may be possile to prick it under the nail as well / instead.

    I agree with the general view that too small trainers are the main cause, but I know of cases too where people have kind of "scrunched" their toes (like clenching your fist)which has led to black toes.

    I find that road running is much harder on the toes than off-road so varying the training surface if possible can help.
  • I fully endorse Jezmerelda's comments about how some runners subconsciously claw their toes into the ground as they run, and that running on softer surfaces can help too.
    I have what I consider to be good fitting shoes and use plenty of vaseline on my toes and feet plus the thimble-shaped foam toe protectors (as mentioned by Wannaberunner) on four of my toes. Also, as the nickname says, I do most of my training on a treadmill nowadays.
    My toe problems are caused because of how they are shaped. The largest two toes on each foot are best described as "hammer toes", which naturally curl towards the ground due overtight hamstrings.
    I generally find that my toes can put up with about six miles of the repetitive stress that my running action causes them. After that the nails begin to discolour and blisters form, and so begins the long cycle of each nail being lost and then regrowing.
    Does anyone think that othotics would be helpful in solving some of these toenails issues?
  • I regularly have my toenails go black, fall off, grow back, go black...

    I tried a larger shoe size and got other injuries because of the lack of support to my foot

    doesn't cause any pain or discomfort so I look at it as a badge of honour!
  • I had the same problem, I think with me it's the shape of my foot. If I pull the laces tight enough to stop my foot slipping forward, It makes the top of my foot sore. I've started pulling the laces at the bottom tight, then putting a reef knot in then lacing the rest of my shoe less tightly. Fingers crossed, I haven't had any more damage since I started.- Not even during the "undulating" marathon I'd been training for.
  • When I used to run alot in the 1980s my toes got very sore once I reached one hour's running but then it seemed to work itself out. I stopped at 40. It's 14 years since I last ran much, have achieved 75 mins, but I find that from 60 mins + I am having real problems with 3 toes on my left (smaller) foot, they are very sore and the nails very bruised and I can't then run for a couple of days. Any advice, please?
  • Dear friends:

    After a lot of black nails pricked with a red-burnt pin after dipping my feet on hot water, I realize that my feet where hitting que shoe-top while running thus causing the bruises.

    That stopped after I started to pulling tight the lower part of my shoe-laces, so that que shoe would hold firmly my feet, preventing the toes hammering agaist the shoe-top.

    Good running!
  • I've just stumbled(no pun intended) onto this black toe-nail forum. And I thought it was just me! Thank heavens there are at least another 15 of you out there.Maybe we should set up a support group!
  • And it's the one next to my big toe,AND toe on my left foot seems to be developing same problem.So what toe is it on everybody else's foot that has a dodgy nail?
  • I had problems with all my toes in both feet, except my 2 smaller toes (outer toes)!
  • I had an accident moving furniture and tore out my toe nail on my big foot. At A+E they re-bedded it, but I have not been able to tolerate wearing trainers since and therefore haven't run now for 3 weeks!
    The advice from the hospital was that it would take 6 weeks for the new growth although I cant see any evidence of new growth yet. Yesterday I put on my trainers and walked around the lounge which felt ok. I'll probebly go for a walk outside tonight to see how it feels, but am naturally impatient to start running again. Can anyone advise me when I will be able to run again without causing further damage or disloging the nail??
    Thankyou so much this is my 1st time on the forum,

  • I'm no expert, but if you want things to grow back properly...I would suggest you do an bit of cross training and leave the running for a while - no point in starting back too early and then having to stay off running because you hurt the nail again - try gel top caps from Boots when you do go back running...but in the meantime do an bit of swimming and cycling to get up the fittness and then start running...gently !!

    Good Luck !!
  • Hello,
    Thanks for the advices everyone....
    I have blisters and sore nails on my left foot only....right foot is not affected at all !
    is it related to the way I run ? still i think I push more on my right foot

  • Try going to see a podiatrist - I've lost 4 nails through having a 'funny' running style - , that was put down to the way I walk (I supernate!). Now I have orthotics fitted for my problem & I don't have any problems at all. Most people have one foot larger than the other, so maybe you need to look at your shoes too. If you go to the podiatrist, take your running shoes with you, so that he/she can see what's going on.
    Good luck.
  • The hat and Devious or anyone who has lost a!
    I just lost my little toe - it turned brown and became loose and so finally was able to clip it down. Yes, it looks pretty lumpy underneath but after spending some time researching I can't decide if it's due to trauma or a fungal infection. I did not experience any pain throughout maybe a slight discomfort but more freaked out than anything else. I recently discovered I was running in the wrong size shoe but since then have gotten a bigger size. Can't decide if I should go to a podiatrist b/c the thought of someone else probing my feet scares me. Since there is no pain I'm inclined to skip the visit. Anyone have any advice? Is there a way to treat it while it grows back? I've been washing it out w. hydrogen peroxide, and using neosporin and bandaging. YucK! I love running but it's so hard on the body!

    Thanks all!
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