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Mitchell Wachtel D.P.M.

Choosing Shoes to Prevent Black Toenails

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This Sunday, October 5th is the Trot for Special Tots 5K Road Race in Andover. It is a run for a great cause. If you are a runner who happens to suffer from black toenails, though, you might consider investing in a new pair of running shoes before lacing up for this race. Having the right footwear makes all the difference in comfort and keeping your feet healthy.

Prevent Black ToenailsA subungual hematoma, or a black toenail, occurs when blood pools underneath your nail. The problem is about more than just discoloration—pressure begins to build up under your toenail. This pressure can ultimately result in great pain and discomfort. Anyone can suffer from a black toenail, but those who are at a higher risk include athletes and people who walk barefoot, who more regularly put their nails at great risk of traumatic injuries. In many cases the nail will come loose and fall off on its own.

To avoid black toenails, the most important thing you can do for yourself is wear proper footwear. This is especially true for people who run. There should be about a thumbnail’s length between your longest toe and the front of your shoe. Too many people worry about the number size on the shoe, but this can vary between different types of footwear. You can also consider the type of socks you wear. Synthetic materials will wick away moisture from your feet, which can help prevent slippage. Keeping your foot stable and preventing it from sliding into the top of your shoe with every step is the key to warding off black toenails.

Call Dr. Mitchell Wachtel at (978) 794-8406 to find out more information about subungual hematomas and to make an appointment in our North Andover, MA office.

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