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Dallas Podiatry Works

What to Do When Black Toenails Hurt


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7/20/2015
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When you hear stories like Harriette Thompson’s, it can be really tough to make excuses. On May 31 of this year, Ms. Thompson became the oldest woman to complete a marathon…at the sprightly age of 92 years old! Oh, and if that isn’t enough to make you wonder what is stopping you from taking up running, she’s also survived cancer…twice! Now, if you find inspiration in her story and want to run a marathon, there are certain things to keep in mind – like not attempting too much too soon and getting medical clearance first, but also that the miles logged can potentially cause black toenails.

What to do when black toenails hurt

Black toenails are often the result of a condition known as subungual hematoma. This is simply a matter of blood pooling underneath the nail following physical trauma (like a toe repeatedly hitting the front of a running shoe). When this happens, it creates pressure between the toenail and the soft tissue underneath. Fortunately, there is treatment that can be effective in helping with this fairly common injury.

First, it is important to know that small, painless cases of subungual hematoma might not need any treatment. To ensure that your black nail is not a serious medical condition—particularly malignant melanoma, which is actually quite rare—it is best to come in for a proper diagnosis. Our expert staff can alleviate any concerns or ensure that you receive proper care.

When it is necessary, treatment for black toenails is best handled professionally. We typically relieve the pain through a process known as either decompression or trephination. This is simply a matter of draining the underlying blood, which then relieves the pain and pressure in the area.

Decompression can either be performed with a needle or by cauterization. Essentially, we will create a hole in the nail tissue to allow the blood to drain out and give you that relief you need.

If you toenails are causing pain, it is definitely time to seek the effective treatment you can always find at Dallas Podiatry Works. We will put your pain to rest so that you can go on with your life. Our skilled podiatrists and professionals can also assist with any other foot or ankle condition that is affecting you or your loved ones. Schedule your appointment with either our Dallas or Plano, TX offices online, or give us a toll-free call today at (888) 716-5283.

Category: Toenail Restoration

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Dr. Joel W. Brook
Dr. Joel Brook is a board-certified podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon at Dallas Podiatry Works in TX.

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