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Blac/Purple toenails... freaking the flock out...


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Help!  I have two toenails... one on each foot, that are purple!  WTF is that about?  LOL.  I have lost a ton of weight and started running.  I did the Couch to 5K program and finished it, so now i am working on adding distance since I am lost as to what to do now. I still havent decided if I like this running thing.  I comfortably running 2.5 miles every other day and about 1.5 miles the other days.   ANYWAY, I changed my toenail polish this evening and was shocked to see that my middle toenail on one foot and my second to the last on the other is purple, actually purple.  

WHY?

I dunno if its all in my head but now the middle one is hurting a little  LOL.  Why did this happen?  What should I do, if anything?  Do I have to stop running?  Should I not run tomorrow?  Ew... are the nails going to come off?   LOL... hep hep... I am freaking out.  Laughing

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I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner.  I got the purple toenail within days of starting to run for the first time.  It can be several different things (bad shoes, tight shoes/laces) but for me it was just an injury where the nail was separated and the skin bruised under.  The nail is still damaged and looks weird, 2 months later. 

Either way, purple toenail is very common.

I have one half purple nail on my left foot and it has been that way for almost two years.  I'm not really worried about it though.  I suspect it had something to do with weight gain.

Yuppppppp happens to me from running.  About 4-5 months ago, one of my toenails turned completely black/blue, and was sort of..lifted?  About a month later, because it was somehow raised up, I was able to use the little file thing on toenail clippers, and gouge it all out (it's all dried blood).  Yeah, I know, disgusting... but it made it not black anymore!  The remaining nail was fine, albeit only connected at the bottom, and didn't hurt or anything.  Then, a couple of weeks ago, it finally fell off.  :-P  So now I have a lovely tiny little stump of a new toenail growing in.  I have another one on my other foot, but I'm just letting it be for now.

Usually, it's caused by the impact of your toe against your shoe.  Just make sure to keep your toenails really trimmed!  Although they might not be long enough to actually FEEL the fact that the nail/shoe is touching, running seems to cause it to happen.

It only happened to me when I first started runnng, years ago, and especially when I took to routes with steep downhills. My toe nails were pushing up against the end of my shoe. I would get the bruising and then the nail would fall off, completely. Painless but yucky, and they grew back just fine. My sister suggested shoes with the toe cap (don't know what else to call it, when the rubber comes up over the end of the toe box) and either that or more experience brought an end to the problem. . .

Good luck.

#5  
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I have a couple from the last time I bought new shoes back in April. 

#6  
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Woooowwwww... thanks for the replies.  Its amazing to me that my toenails are purple!  I admit when I started the C25K program my toenails were too long, I hate to see toemeat when I look at my toes!  LOL.  So mine were too long, painted very nice, etc.  One morning about a month and a half ago, probably the first time I ran for 1 mile straight or something, when I got home and took my shoe off....my foot was covered in blood.  My toenails (yeah, one of the ones that just turned purple) had cut into the toe next to it and it bled. I cut them way down then.

I just them again last night (after I picked myself up off the floor when I took the polish off and saw the purple!). 

I just want to make sure its ok to keep running.  I am up to 2.75 miles every other day and 1.5 miles on the off days. 

I've run cross country and track for over 8 years, and this was a common problem for many of my team mates. We called it killing your toenails, and they are likely to fall off. You won't have to stop running as long as it doesn't hurt. Just be careful about infections and I would recommend wearing sandals/something open and airy as much as possible when not running even if your toes look gross.

Good work on doing the 5K!

The toe box of your running shoes is too small.  It's hitting the nail and absolutely battering the living daylights out of it.  You need better fitting shoes.

Yes you need better fitting shoes that allow more room for your toes as you run.  If that still doesn't help, then it could mean that your arch has fallen.  Then you would just need to look into some inserts.  This happened to my mother-in-law after her 1st marathon. 

I just ran an 8k on the 4th and noticed a purple toe nail and I have great fitting running shoes.  So, I am going to look into this more.

Sorry to do a direct product plug here, but call Road Runner Sports.  My wife had this problem until she (trimmed her nails and) bought different shoes -- ones that don't have a seam towards the front of the 'toe box'.


Road Runner will let you run in shoes for 60 days to try them out if you're a member.  If you're going to be running, you'll be buying several pairs a year anyway.

 

Anyway -- she still has a little problem if we do a distance over 18 miles, but that's only so often...

Hello!  I have been running for 17 years and have occassionally experienced this.  What you are seeing are blood blisters that have formed under the toe nail due to trauma.  The cause is generally related to one of two things: either your toe nails are WAY too long and need to be clipped, OR, the most common cause is that you are not wearing the proper shoes.  Either way, the injury is from blunt trauma of your toenail hitting the toe box of your shoes.

Unfortunately if the nail is completely blue/purple, it is likely to fall off.  When this happens, simply rinse the area with an antiseptic (I recommend Hibiclens) once a day, then apply neosporin following.  Try to keep the toes open to air in order to avoid an infection as well as heal faster.  Don't worry, they WILL grow back (though it generally takes quite a while)!  Bandage the toes when needed.  And yes, you can run if they do fall off :).

In the mean time, I suggest going to a shoe store specializing in running to purchase appropriate shoes.  Note: you will always want to purchase your shoes 1/2 - 1 full size LARGER than your normal shoe size.  This is because your feet generally expand when you exercise.  Additionally, look for a shoe that is catored to the type of foot you have.  This was the main cause for my dark nails as my shoes were too narrow for my feet (one way to determine this is if after purchasing your shoes you feel like you have to break them in - you should NOT have to). 

For narrow feet, I recommend New Balance or Nike.  For wider feet, I HIGHLY recommend Asics (actually I recommend Asics regardless of width).  The line of shoe will depend on several factors (i.e. foot arch, your weight, how far you run, the type of terrain you run on, etc...).  Be sure to get a light weight shoe as that will help with the toe issue as well.  I switched from New Balance to Asics 8 years ago and have not had a purple toe since! 

Good luck with training and your toes and don't give up!  Once you get past the "hump" of getting your body used to it, you will LOVE it and your endurance will grow.  To increase your mileage, I suggest interval training (on a treadmill at first to help measure your distance and time).  I occassionally incorporate this into my routine, especially when I have gone on vacation or have taken a break from working out in order to help get me back up to speed.  My example is to do intervals of ten minutes.  The first 3 1/2 minutes start off with a fast paced walk (generally 3.8 - 4.5 on the treadmill, depending on your endurance).  At the 3 1/2 minute mark, bring it up to a steady jog for another 3 1/2 minutes.  The last part of the ten minutes increase to a past paced jog.  Do this as many times as you are able and you should see progress in your long distance running on the other days! 

i had teh same problem as rmgarcia. I had developed like blisters under teh toenails, so I popped them to drain. Then the nail was lifted and only connected at the root. It was obvious that it was going to fall off so I just took it off lol. they don't hurt anymore and not having a nail is no big deal. It just looks funny having 2toes w/o nail polish!

I got purple toes after a 14.4 mile hike climbing Mt Marcy, which rises 3,000 feet over the course of 5 miles.  That was Aug 14th.  Going back down was probably what did it.  All six inside toes were pinkish to purple.  Four of them recovered to normal within a few days.  The toes next to my big toes stayed purple and were just a teensy bit loose.  Now, over 5 weeks later, they are still purple.  But what's freaking me out is that the nail is loose half way down the nail bed.  I can slide a fingernail down it (gives the me heebie jeebies) It's like the "quick" has moved down.  I'm a little freaked that I might still lose my toenails, months after the event that caused this.

 

Original Post by sharz96:

I got purple toes after a 14.4 mile hike climbing Mt Marcy, which rises 3,000 feet over the course of 5 miles.  That was Aug 14th.  Going back down was probably what did it.  All six inside toes were pinkish to purple.  Four of them recovered to normal within a few days.  The toes next to my big toes stayed purple and were just a teensy bit loose.  Now, over 5 weeks later, they are still purple.  But what's freaking me out is that the nail is loose half way down the nail bed.  I can slide a fingernail down it (gives the me heebie jeebies) It's like the "quick" has moved down.  I'm a little freaked that I might still lose my toenails, months after the event that caused this.

 

As someone has said previously, purple/black toenails generally fall off/allow you to clip them off. Just cut it off and it'll grow back.

sounds like you have a blood blister under the nail. I got then before from running. The nail can come off if the blister gets too big, so you can get it drained if you want to. You can do it yourself, but I'd go to a doc. It'll take a couple of months for the nail to gro back in all the way, so keep the polish off

Original Post by sharz96:

I got purple toes after a 14.4 mile hike climbing Mt Marcy, which rises 3,000 feet over the course of 5 miles.  That was Aug 14th.  Going back down was probably what did it.  All six inside toes were pinkish to purple.  Four of them recovered to normal within a few days.  The toes next to my big toes stayed purple and were just a teensy bit loose.  Now, over 5 weeks later, they are still purple.  But what's freaking me out is that the nail is loose half way down the nail bed.  I can slide a fingernail down it (gives the me heebie jeebies) It's like the "quick" has moved down.  I'm a little freaked that I might still lose my toenails, months after the event that caused this.

 

 those are the same toenails I lost! Just pull them off and let them start growing back. It feels a lot better once they are off!

I have two black big toe nails from getting stomped on at a concert a few months back. They are finally starting to crack off. Thank God sandal weather is almost over, my feet look gross now!

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