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toe nails

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becky24
Cool Runner
posted Jul-05-2007 09:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for becky24   Click Here to Email becky24     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One of my toes is very discolored underneath the nail. I think there is a chance it may fall off. Is this bad, or just a little weird looking?

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jillian357
Member
posted Jul-05-2007 09:27 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jillian357   Click Here to Email jillian357     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
LOL...talk about timing! I just read your reply to MY post, and now I am replying to YOUR post!

I have the exact same thing....on both of my second toes as a matter of fact. I fully expect they will fall off shortly.
I have good shoes that I believe are fitted properly. I chatted with two gentlemen who own a local running store in my area (they are both runners too) and one of them said the exact same thing happens to him AND his wife. They will eventually fall off from what he told me.

Mine are actually thicker and protruding out. Are yours?

It freaked me out at first, but now I realize it's more like a battle scar from running...it definitely got worse as I put in more miles.

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Gregolowe
Cool Runner
posted Jul-05-2007 09:44 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gregolowe   Click Here to Email Gregolowe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How can that possibly be a good thing? "Battle scar"; I want to enjoy my running, not fight against it. It's discolored because it is bleeding underneath. It's bleeding underneath from the trauma of jamming your toenails into the front and top of your shoes. Ouch! This is not something I would want to adapt to or get used to. This would happen to me when I would go skiing because I wasn't skiing correctly, leaning back in my boots instead of downhill. When I learned how to ski correctly, it went away, of course. Learn how to run correctly, without your feet encased in material that binds it and keeps it from moving how it should, and you'll be fine. Run barefoot, or in a sandal.

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becky24
Cool Runner
posted Jul-05-2007 09:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for becky24   Click Here to Email becky24     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gregolowe:
Learn how to run correctly, without your feet encased in material that binds it and keeps it from moving how it should, and you'll be fine. Run barefoot, or in a sandal. [/B]

I was just wondering if it does produce negative effects aside from just looking ugly. I don't believe I will try the running barefoot thing...actually running the half is when my toe first started to hurt a bit (even though my shoes are 1/2 size larger- but what caused it to bruise was when my brother stomped on my foot when I was wearing sandles...so this may not be directly related to running, but I know many runners have this problem so I thought some might be able to let me know if I should get this looked at, or just deal with it.

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Nobby
Cool Runner
posted Jul-05-2007 09:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Nobby   Click Here to Email Nobby     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jillian357:
It freaked me out at first, but now I realize it's more like a battle scar from running...it definitely got worse as I put in more miles.

Yes and no. In most cases, yes, as you pile up more miles, you start to see some pains and aches; but at the same time, there are lots of pains and aches that could have been avoided or should have been avoided. Some of running-related injuries, in a lot of cases many people refer to as "over-use syndrome" when they are still hovorring around 25 miles a week or so, would be a good example.

If the shoe fits correctly, a lot of those problems should not occure. Black toe nails are a good example. When Arthur Lydiard started making shoes with the German company, EB; back in the 60s (or was it early 70s?), adidas was the mainstream athletic shoes. When Lydiard went to Germany for a lecture and talked about shoes, some of them came over afterwards and said they had the best shoes in the world. Lydiard told them to take their shoes off. Lots of black toe nails or missing toe nails. You see, Lydiard was probably running more than most athletes back then, preaching 100 miles a week training regimen; yet, he didn't have those problems (he was a shoe-maker by profession and built his own shoes as well as for his athletes). Back then, they really didn't have a concept of "toe box" and the shoe sort of levels off at tip. This concequently presses the top of your foot (toes) down and put extra pressure on your toe nails. This is where this "have a shoe a half size bigger" concept; so the tip of your toes actually comes a bit higher part of the end of the shoe. Of course, today's shoe a bit better constructed as far as toe-box is concerned, yet, people still follow this concept, resulting all sorts of other problems like blisters on the arch, rubbed Achilles, etc.

Some shoes, because the manufacturers are more concerned with cosmetics, put un-necessary junk on the upper and could press down certain spot. If it's the tip of your toe, you will most likely get black toe nail. I've been fortunate and haven't lost too many toe nails from running because I've been careful. Last one I had was actually from socks--it was too thick and not soft and, because my second toe is slightly longer than my big toe, put pressure on the toe nail (I knew it was coming about 1:50 into my 2-hour run). Sometimes it'll just grow out of it. Sometimes it will come off (in a worse case). I think I've actually "lost" my nail once or twice in my 30+ years of running. If it's the battle scar, I guess I didn't run hard enough! ;o) When it feels like it's lifting off, I'd cut a thin strip of bandage (less than 1/2 inch thick) and lightly wrap it around, making sure it won't press the tip down.

Believe me; I don't care who told you that but, if the shoe fits correctly, you shouldn't have those black toe nails.

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jillian357
Member
posted Jul-05-2007 10:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jillian357   Click Here to Email jillian357     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Wow, thanks for the heads up on this, I had no idea it "shouldn't" be happening.

I figured these gentlemen who spoke to me at the running store knew what they were talking about, but that obviously isn't the case.

I think I better be looking at getting some different shoes.

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slowgino
Cool Runner
posted Jul-05-2007 10:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for slowgino     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by becky24:
I was just wondering if it does produce negative effects aside from just looking ugly...
...actually running the half is when my toe first started to hurt a bit (even though my shoes are 1/2 size larger- but what caused it to bruise was when my brother stomped on my foot when I was wearing sandles...
but I know many runners have this problem so I thought some might be able to let me know if I should get this looked at, or just deal with it.

It never produced any extra negative effects for me. I got this on my longer (one size longer) foot's big toe when wearing a compromise shoe size. A shoe long enough for the long foot was way too long for the short foot, whose heel would be very loose in that size.

Make sure the nail's cut very short and the shoe's not pressing down on it. Shoes are just tools. I've used a utility knife to cut slits to relieve pressure in a toe box. Works ok as long as the shoe is constructed so it won't come apart, but it does let rain and puddle water in a bit faster.

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jsprick
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posted Jul-05-2007 10:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jsprick     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have had this happen twice in the last 6 years; the first time was my first marathon, and the second time was a few months ago after a half-marathon race. If it is a consistent thing for you, there is probably something wrong with the way your shoes fit (or maybe just your socks). But both times it happened to me, I am pretty sure I just went one day too long without trimming my nails. I never felt any pain from it, and I even think it's kind of cool when the nail is gone completely.

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Gregolowe
Cool Runner
posted Jul-05-2007 10:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gregolowe   Click Here to Email Gregolowe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Becky, I assumed it came from your shoes since alot of trail runners and ultrarunners, of which I am one, speak of this phenomenon occuring in races. It usually comes from lots of downhill running. It will not produce any long term negative effects. It will grow back. Probably all of us have lost a toe nail at some time or another. It just looks weird. Don't worry about it. Now, if it was occurring on a regular basis from your running, then there's a problem. Why do that to yourself? Your toenails are there for a reason.

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Harper
Cool Runner
posted Jul-05-2007 11:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Harper     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Right now 5 of my toenails are purple, and 2 more have new nails coming in after the purple ones fell off.

I usually go with size 10.5, which is 1/2 size bigger than I would normally wear. I made the mistake of running ONE TIME in a size 10, and that resulted in 2 black toenails. Last week I got 3 new pairs of shoes. One brand, even in size 10.5, caused 3 toenails to go black after just a single run. Just b/c a shoe is a 1/2 size bigger doesn't guarantee happy toenails. The toe box area has to be big and you have to make sure your toes aren't hitting the top, front or sides while you run. Why stores like Fleet Feet don't carry E-width shoes is beyond me. D-width just isn't cutting it anymore for me, and I have relatively small feet for a man.

Even if you are wearing perfect shoes for your feet that never cause black toenails, a single run in adverse conditions (rain, lots of hills, who knows what) can cause several nails to go black.

Your newly blackened toenails will be sore for a few days, then look ugly for a few months until they fall off, and then look ugly for 2 or 3 more months while the new nail grows back. If you are unlucky enough to have this happen on your big toe, it's an 8 to 12 month process until your toe will look normal again.

The one major problem with black toenails is that it is often a self-perpetuating problem. The black toenail is usually thicker and bigger, being lifted up by the underlying bruise. And this often lends itself to further injury while the nail is only half-way grown out.

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Harper
Cool Runner
posted Jul-05-2007 11:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Harper     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And I should add, you have to make sure to keep your toenails trimmed to just the right length. Too long can be just as bad as too short (too short can cause blisters b/c the toe won't be as protected or supported). Each nail will probably have a different required length.

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Nobby
Cool Runner
posted Jul-05-2007 11:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Nobby   Click Here to Email Nobby     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jillian357:
Wow, thanks for the heads up on this, I had no idea it "shouldn't" be happening.

I figured these gentlemen who spoke to me at the running store knew what they were talking about, but that obviously isn't the case.

I think I better be looking at getting some different shoes.


With the same token, don't assume I'm right either! ;o)

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Nobby
Cool Runner
posted Jul-05-2007 12:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Nobby   Click Here to Email Nobby     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by slowgino:
I got this on my longer (one size longer) foot's big toe when wearing a compromise shoe size. A shoe long enough for the long foot was way too long for the short foot, whose heel would be very loose in that size.

Slowgino:

This is a bit of a digression from the original topic but... My right foot is slightly smaller than my left (perhaps not as much as 1/2 size though). I usually insert extra thin material (like Dr. Sch...whatever-his-name-is insole kind of thing). To me, usually a full insole is too much so I cut up a bunch of holes to make it feel even thinner. This usually solves the problem. I keep all my old insole from previous shoes and switech them around. Some are thicker than others and I would try to accommodate the slight size difference from right foot to left. Sometimes, not all the time, a small thing like this could solve the issue.

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slowgino
Cool Runner
posted Jul-06-2007 12:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for slowgino     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Nobby:
Slowgino:

This is a bit of a digression from the original topic but... My right foot is slightly smaller than my left (perhaps not as much as 1/2 size though). I usually insert extra thin material (like Dr. Sch...whatever-his-name-is insole kind of thing). To me, usually a full insole is too much so I cut up a bunch of holes to make it feel even thinner. This usually solves the problem. I keep all my old insole from previous shoes and switech them around. Some are thicker than others and I would try to accommodate the slight size difference from right foot to left. Sometimes, not all the time, a small thing like this could solve the issue.


Ok, thanks for the tip. My left foot is just a lot flatter than the right, so an insole-type solution might help with that.

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Abb94
Cool Runner
posted Jul-07-2007 06:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Abb94     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Could this also be caused by runnng hills when one is not used to that? I recently took a trip and ran in hills; normally I run in completely flat land. The day after I got back, my second toe started hurting and turning blue. I have been wearing the same model of shoes for a year and have never had problems with this.

Any thoughts on that?

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kestrou
Cool Runner
posted Jul-07-2007 07:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for kestrou   Click Here to Email kestrou     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Abb94 - yes hill running can cause this, when it might otherwise not happen (as Nobby said).

I'm a big fan of Saucony shoes for general road running and racing - because they're known to "have a big toe box" (just ask around! )

When it comes to ultra distances though (my hands in the air) your feet are just going to take a beating and black toenails are gonna happen (often compounded by the wet conditions and downhill portions of hilly runs).

One thing that can help is "high and tight lacing of your shoes" to help prevent your feet from sliding forward in them. Here's a link with more info: http://inov-8.com/lacing.html - check out "Loop Lock High" on that page!

kestrou

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Nobby
Cool Runner
posted Jul-07-2007 10:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Nobby   Click Here to Email Nobby     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Abb94:
Could this also be caused by runnng hills when one is not used to that? I recently took a trip and ran in hills; normally I run in completely flat land. The day after I got back, my second toe started hurting and turning blue. I have been wearing the same model of shoes for a year and have never had problems with this.

Any thoughts on that?


Absolutely; particularly if it's hot and humid. Remember, when was it, 1999? Edmonton World Championships men's marathon--I didn't think Khannouchi would have a problem. That was, as far as I can remember, his first summer marathon, first champioships marathon where most likely people would start out slow (KK's usual 15-minute-5k vs. 15:50+) and it was very hilly compared to everything he was used to (Chicago, London). Granted, he HAD run summer road races, and some hilly course road races as well, I'm sure. But I actually thought he would drop out with blister. Of course, he did at around 15k. Same thing with Yuko Arimori in Atlanta. She wanted to run the marathon without socks but her coach, Koide, insistd she wear socks because of hot and humid condition plus all the ups and downs. To convince her, he had her do 30k time trial in the similar condition. She developed blisters and was convinced. Now I know we are talking about black toe-nails here. But the point is; they developed blisters because of slipping of the foot inside the shoe. Same can be said with black toe-nail.

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jamid
Cool Runner
posted Jul-08-2007 10:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for jamid     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
If the discoloration is yellowish or greenish it could be a nail fungus. A few years ago I cut my big toe right at the base of the nail. A few weeks later I noticed that the toenail was starting to turn black. I had no pain with it. Over time it went from black to purple to a yellow green color. It also started to thicken. I was pregnant at the time so it could not be treated and I breastfed for well over a year, and then developed some serious nasal polyps so I wasn't able to get it treated for about 2 years. I took Lamisil tablets for the fungal infection and the nail did eventually fall off. I spray my running shoes with Lysol after each use and I am very careful with trimming the nails. I really don't want another fungal infection.

On a side note, I found out that one can take 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar a day for the fungus and in a few months it will clear up. It has to be the natural apple cider vinegar with the "mother" in it.

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ziggyrottie1
Member
posted Jul-24-2007 05:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ziggyrottie1   Click Here to Email ziggyrottie1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just lost my first toe nail!!!! I am concern about the gap I have between my toe and the toe nail bed. I am afraid I will get an infection from dirt and stuff getting in there. Does anyone have this problem? And what did you do for it? Help


quote:
Originally posted by Gregolowe:
Becky, I assumed it came from your shoes since alot of trail runners and ultrarunners, of which I am one, speak of this phenomenon occuring in races. It usually comes from lots of downhill running. It will not produce any long term negative effects. It will grow back. Probably all of us have lost a toe nail at some time or another. It just looks weird. Don't worry about it. Now, if it was occurring on a regular basis from your running, then there's a problem. Why do that to yourself? Your toenails are there for a reason.

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tallfran
Cool Runner
posted Jul-24-2007 10:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tallfran   Click Here to Email tallfran     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have not had it happen (yet!) from running, but it has happened to me twice from backpacking, about 18 months apart. Both times it was the big toe on my left foot, and was the result of a lot of downhills. Both times it was extremely painful and I had to go to a podiatrist and have the toenail removed.

The first time it was a blood blister under the toenail, and the second it was a blister like you would get on your heel except it was under the big toenail. When the docs punctured the blister, the toenail pretty much came off all by itself.

It healed well and I have had no problems with infection.

Strangely enough, it is on my smaller foot, and also the foot I tend to get heel blisters on. I think the foot slides around a little too much inside the shoe.

I would not look upon it as a badge of honor, but know you are in good company with a lot of elite runners who have had black toenails!

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Gotta have a dream
If you don't have a dream
How you gonna have a dream come true?

tallfran

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