Black toenails, also known as runner’s toes, are rather common. They are called runner’s toes because we often experience the grey or black nails after a long walk or run. This is because as we walk or run our feet slide forward in our shoes hitting the front, top, and sides of our shoes. Our feet get compressed by socks and shoes which causes swelling. This can damage your toenails by creating a blister under the toenail. When this happens, the excess blood flow and fluid cause your toenail to come out of the toenail bed, this extra blood can make your toenail turn black.
Black toenails are usually caused by wearing improperly fitted running shoes. The repeated stress on your toes caused by the tightness of your shoes or fungus contributes to make black toenails, this can raise your toenail and can be painful. Other possibilities include dropping an object on your toe or cutting the nails too short. The internal bleeding underneath your toenails causes black toenails.
The pressure from ill-fitting shoes that are too tight can also cause ingrown toenails. This pressure breaks the skin and leaves it open to infection and discoloration from excess blood.
1. Get rid of fluid
You can ignore it for 24 hours to see whether it goes away by itself. If it remains painful after 24 hours drain the excess fluid. If the edge of the nail is near the swollen area sterilize a needle and sanitize the area, try to pierce your blister with the needle. Apply pressure to drain it then apply rubbing alcohol or antibiotic cream after.
2. Warm water and Epsom salt
If your toenail is pushed up from the nail bed you can soak your feet in warm water mixed with some Epsom salts for 10 minutes, it will help reduce the swelling.
3. Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree Oil is a common treatment for toenail fungus. Use Tea Tree Oil on your toenails and repeat as needed for better results. Baking soda also works well.
4. Running shoes
Make sure your running shoes fit you properly and your socks are well-fitted. Your shoes must have room left so that your toe has space to fit in when it swells after walking or running. The toe box should be wide enough to adjust your toe and should not be too wide or your toes will hit the sides. Avoid sweaty shoes.
5. Trim your nails
Cut your nails with care and don’t cut them too short. As your nail grows it takes the dark portion along with it.
This is one of the best treatments for your nails. Soak your feet in vinegar for 30 minutes twice a day. You can also soak your feet in beer to treat your black toenails and you get rid of them sooner.
Note: If your black toenails do not improve with these remedies please see your doctor.