Toenails turning grey

07.06.2019
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Toenails Turning Black: Treatments, Why Are My Toenails Turning Blue

Toenails Turning Blue

  • Usually toenails turning black and blue are caused by shoes that just do not fit right.
  • If too big, the toes move freely and bang up against the shoe. The toes are basically bruised. The little capillaries are damaged by the force of running or walking a lot.
  • If shoes are too small, the toes curl under and are bruised by the body weight pushing the toes against the shoe.
  • Proper fitting footwear will resolve the issue.

Why Are My Toenails Turning Black

  • If you wonder sometimes why are my toenails turning black, it is usually a fungal infection brewing.

Treatments for Toenails Turning Black

  • Cayenne pepper mixed with warm water to a paste consistency is said to remove toe fungus in about 60 days.
  • Spread the paste thickly, wrap with gauze, and put on clean, white socks. Keep the solution on all day, or better yet, all night.
  • Vinegar seems to be a very inexpensive fix. Spray the toes twice a day, every day for a month to see improvement.
  • As a foot soak, mix peroxide and vinegar together. Soak the feet well and spray with vinegar.
  • A dilute solution of chlorine bleach and water a couple times a day will resolve fungus issues of the feet.
  • Many people resort to good old fashioned menthol rubs that is used for chest colds. The camphor or menthol is effective at killing fungus.
  • Most important, whatever treatment you choose, use it regularly every day for at least 6-8 weeks for improved conditions. Do not just do it now and then.
  • Fungus can be cured with consistent efforts without expensive pharmaceuticals.

toenails turning grey
Why Did You Get a Black Toenail from Running or Walking?

At the end of a long walk or run, you may notice that a toenail has turned black, blue, or gray, and it may be swollen under the nail. You are getting a black toenail due to bleeding under your nail, which is also known as a subungual hematoma. This can also happen if you drop something on your toe or smash your toe against an object.

Causes of a Black Toenail or Subungual Hematoma

As you walk or run, your foot slides forward in your shoe, banging your toes against the top, front, and sides with each step. Your feet also swell during a walk or run and get compressed by your socks and shoes. That pressure and impact can damage your toenail beds, or create a blister under the toenail itself. When this happens, the extra blood and fluid cause your toenail to separate from the toenail bed. The blood colors the toenail black and your toenail will probably continue to change colors during the course of healing.

When Your Black Toenail Is Painful

If there is a blister under the toenail, you may see the toenail raised and it may be swollen and painful. It is best to try to ignore this for 24 hours and see if it goes down by itself. No treatment is needed unless the nail is raised and painful after 24 hours. Nature will take its course and you should simply leave it alone.

If the nail is still raised and painful after a day, you may want to see a doctor. If your black toenail happened due to an accident where your toe was crushed, you should see a doctor so it can be checked for other injuries.

Treatment for a Black Toenail

There is no need to drain a black toenail that isn't raised and painful. If the problem is simply a pool of blood under the nail and it continues to be raised and swollen, then a doctor would relieve the pressure by poking a hole in the nail, a procedure called trephination. Although it's preferred that a professional does this, it is something that some people do at home themselves.If you have diabetes, you must seek medical help rather than draining it at home as an infection can have serious consequences.

You can see this self-treatment described by marathon coach Jeff Galloway and in the book "Fixing Your Feet: Prevention and Treatments for Athletes" by John Vonhof, Wilderness Press, 2011.

If the toe continues to be swollen and red after draining the excess fluid, see a doctor to check for infection.

Take infection seriously. If it continues to hurt or the pain increases, this is a bad sign. Toe infections can lead to blood infections, gangrene, and worse, especially if you have diabetes.

Losing Your Toenail

While minor cases of black toenail will simply grow out, if the toenail is raised it is likely you will lose the toenail. It will take a few weeks or months, but as the toenail continues to grow, eventually it shoves out the damaged, blackened toenail. The black toenail is raised off of the toenail bed and underneath it is often the healthy remainder of your toenail. Your black toenail will gradually loosen from the sides and you will be able to trim it away.

If pretty toes are important to you, you can paint the black toenail or even the new thin toenail or the bare skin. Most people won't notice the difference if you use a darker shade of polish. Black polish and darker shades may be in fashion.

Full replacement of your toenail takes about three months, and the new toenail will often be a bit wavy—thin in some areas and thicker in others. After four to five months your toenail should be back to normal.

Preventing Black Toenails

Your running or walking shoes and socks must fit correctly. Your feet swell a full shoe size over the course of a long run or walk, and your toes must have someplace to expand into. The toebox must be wide enough, yet not too wide or your toes will bang around in it. Getting fit for your athletic shoes at a technical running shoe store in your area is your best method of ensuring your shoes fit correctly.?

The trauma of toes banging into the shoe can be eliminated by proper lacing of your shoes to keep your heel in the heel box rather than letting the foot slide forward in the shoe with each step. This is especially important if your exercise route includes uphills and downhills as that is when you will experience the most slippage. See the technique for shoe lacing to prevent heel slippage.

Other Causes of Black and Blue Toenails

Fungal infections of the toenail can also cause color changes in the nail from gray to blue, brown, or black. If your black toenail didn't appear suddenly after a workout or after dropping something on your toe, you might suspect this as a cause. Over-the-counter anti-fungal treatments are available, but you can see your doctor if these are not effective after a few weeks.

A rare cause of black toenail is malignant subungual melanoma. Unlike trauma to your toenail, this does not appear suddenly but you will see a black line or band extending up the nail from the cuticle. One difference between this type of cancer and common toenail trauma is that the black line extends into the cuticle. See your doctor if you are concerned that your black toenail may be a sign of this cancer.

A Word From Verywell

Don't despair that your fitness activities are hurting your toes. It is a signal that you need to be more careful in selecting your footwear and lacing it correctly. You might change your mindset and know that a healthy body is better than pretty toes. But with attention to your footwear, you should be able to have both.



Why do my toenails look grey? - Answered by top doctors on HealthTap
Gray Nails. One possible cause of blue-gray nail discoloration is using the drug minocycline. This broad-spectrum antibiotic has been found to turn nails a light blue-gray color. However, there are many other causes of nail discoloration as well, including fungal infection, chronic diseases and the use of various medications. Contact your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis.
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