Ask any long distance runner, and they would have at least one black-toe-nail story to share. This used to happen to me a bit too often until recently. Any 20 km run or more meant coming back home with at least one black beauty. I have always flaunted them. Never once have I tried to hide them under a coat of nail polish or by wearing closed shoes. But unlike a lot of runners I have never clicked pictures of them and shared them on FB/Instragram. Eww!!!
The best way to treat them is to let the damaged ones to drop off and wait for the new ones to grow. But I can’t deny being scared of getting an infection. So, I did a lot of reading on the internet and mostly the causes stated for Subungal Hematoma* (medical term for runner’s toe) were – socks being too thick/thin, socks being too tight, shoes being too tight and constant action of the foot coming forward and hitting the roof of the shoe.
I changed my shoes (for several other reasons as well), kept my nails filed and trimmed and tried various brands of not so loose and not so tight Dry fit socks. Without even logging in excessive mileage, my feet still managed to look ‘pretty’ ugly and hardcore!! However, recently I switched to Marks and Spencer basic sports cotton socks. I have done several long runs (between 20-30 kms) post the switch and voila no more blackies!
At the end of the day, it is all about finding what works for you and what doesn’t.
*A subungual hematoma is a collection of blood (hematoma) underneath a toenail or fingernail (black toenail). It can be extremely painful for an injury of its size, although otherwise it is not a serious medical condition.