Many runners are familiar with black toenails. While they can look alarming, most often they are not too painful and resolve on their own. It is usually okay to run with a black toenail, as long as you are wearing proper fitting shoes with adequate room in the toe box and thin, moisture-wicking socks.
This injury (also called subungual hematoma) develops from repetitive trauma or pressure on the toenail from rubbing against tight socks or bumping the front of your shoe. The capillaries and blood vessels under the nail break and blood pools under the nail, causing the discoloration. The old nail will most likely fall off over time and a new, healthy nail will grow back in.
There are times though, when the build up of fluid under the nail causes intense pressure and pain. Then we would encourage you to take a break from running and come in so Dr. Gene Reister can safely drain the fluid, relieve the pressure, treat the toenail to ward off infection, and help prevent it from reoccurring.
If you have a painful toenail or discoloration that is getting worse, it could be an infection that needs treatment. Contact Richardson Podiatry Associates in Richardson, TX at (972) 690-5374 for an appointment today.