Black toenails - will they fall off?

Having got black toenails (both big toes) for the first time three weeks ago (during a half marathon) I'm wondering whether they'll fall off or just sort themselves out.

Are there any tell tail signs to give me an indication of whether they'll come off or is it literally just a case of wait and see?


  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭

    wait and see, sometimes they start lifting up, other times you just have to put up with them slowly growing out over the months.  If they are really sore the chances are there could be a blister below the nail that's causing it.  When I had that I managed to burst the blister and it was a lot better after.

    As KK said if you've only done a half and got mashed up nails i'd investigate if the shoes are possibly to tight, but I do think some people are just more prone to black toenails than others.

  • Thanks for the advice.

    One of the two nails was lifted and sore for 3 or 4 days but is fine now, I'm hoping the black will just grow out as the nail grows rather than the nail coming off. 

    I've never had a problem with my toenails before but this half marathon was hotter than usual so I guess it may have caused my feet to swell. 

  • I found that keeping that toenails short helps prevent damage.

  • TheSianzTheSianz ✭✭✭

    WAit and see for a while. I've had them for months and even over a year - I saw a chiropodist and she cleaned them up etc. and gave me some advice. They don't always just drop off image

  • I've had four and they all fell off. One (the big toe) took months and by the time it fell off another one had almost completely grown underneath. 

  • 2 months on from race day and my toes are still black but the last couple of days the nail which was in a worse state now feels sore and almost wobbly although it shows no sign of coming away.

    I assume this is the precursor to the nail coming away?
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    The nail is dead so you might as well cut as much of it off as possible, or take it right off altogether to save trouble.  Big toenails seem to take about a year to regrow, other nails less time, little toenails never regrow - they become a mess.

    To avoid damaging nails get shoes with a large toe box, especially height - often the problem is the toenail catching on the underside of the upper of the shoe.  Also helped by cutting the nails very short and filing them so thatyou cannot feel an edge when you draw your finger over your toe towards you.

  • Sounds like your nails are going to come off. Same happened to me a few months ago as I stepped up my running.

    I also generally find that my middle nails are thicker than the others and are therefore harder to maintain with clippers.

    Not sure why I'm getting this problem as my running shoes seem to fit ok.

  • My toes next to the big toe on both feet went black after the Adidas Thunder Run last month and have not recovered. I ran the Cheltenham Half Marathon today and the one on my left foot is now hanging on by a thread.

    My second toe is slightly bigger than my big toe so must be the cause, but my shoes seem to fit well and I wear decent running socks. I guess it is just something I'll have to put up with! 

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