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  1. #1
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    Default What to do about black toenail.

    Hey, My trip to CT AT was great. I poured for 2 days and coming down the mountain my right foot slipped on a root and the toe of my boot hit a rock hard. My boots were so wet my foot slid forward and I bruised my toe next to the big toe. 3 weeks later it still hurts and the nail is still black. I heard about using a paper clip, heating it up and burning a hole in the nail to let the blood out? Should I just let it be and see what happens?

  2. #2

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    If your toe is still hurting after 3 weeks, you may have fractured it. the toenail will eventually fall off of its own accord.They grow back.I would suggest getting the next size up next time you buy boots.

  3. #3
    Just Hitting My Stride!
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    Letting the blood out from under the nail will only help in a relatively fresh injury. Since your injury is three weeks old here is an excerpt from The Runner's Repair Manual by Dr. Murray F. Weisenfeld. "You really have to take care of black toenail, because if you wait a week or two, the nail may start to crumble. If that happens, just leave it alone unless the nail is loose. Loose portions of nail should be clipped away with a nail clipper. Then file them smooth so there are no sharp edges. Those edges can catch on your sock and you'll tear away the good nail." Good luck.

  4. #4
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    Last year I slipped in my kitchen and kicked my stove - thought I had broke the toe but nope. The nail turned purple and took 3+ months to come off completely. 1 yr later I have only 3/4 of a toenail.

  5. #5

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    Perhaps you should get an X-ray of the foot to see if you have a fracture. If you don't want to do that, but have persistant pain, it couldn't hurt to splint the affected toe for several weeks until it does feel better. You do that by putting some padding - cotton, gauze, or something - between the toe and the next larger toe next to it. Then you tape the toes together. Obviously it's inconvenient, but you will have to re-tape every day. Keep them that way until the pain subsides - since it's been 3 weeks, and it's been unstable so far, it may take longer to heal than if you'd done it from the start.

    As far as the black toenail, you could heat a needle or a paper clip, then burn into the toenail until you have the blood that's caused the bruising to ooze out. That would relieve the pressure. Probably are going to lose the toenail, though. When it starts getting loose, you may want to put a band-aid on it to keep it on as long as you can, because once it comes off, there's nothing to protect the nail bed on your toe, and it's going to be very tender. I had it happen to me once, and I hung on to that toenail till the new one was almost all grown out (under the old one). It helped protect that tender area.

  6. #6

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    I always just let them go, they eventually fall off.
    Usually happens when I don't buy shoes that are a size or size and a half too big.
    You learn the hard way.
    Last year, I lost 2............. Playing tennis.
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  7. #7
    Registered User Doc Mike's Avatar
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    Drilling a hole in your nail would be useless now. That blood has already clotted, that method works best when done as soon as the bleeding under the nail starts. 3 weeks out I would see a doc.
    Lead, Follow, or get out of the way. I'm goin hikin.

  8. #8
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    Take 2 ibuprophen and paint toe nail with "white out" ....problem fixed.

  9. #9
    DamnYankee DamnYankee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ironman y2k View Post
    Take 2 ibuprophen and paint toe nail with "white out" ....problem fixed.
    LMAO you must have been in the service I'd say. ;-)
    Patrick
    2012 hopeful

    "People are a lot like Slinky's, Not much fun really, until you push them down the stairs"

  10. #10

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    I had my toenails fall off once. I think it felt really great to not have toenails and I was sad when they grew back. I agree with the others you should see a doctor to make sure you didn't break something. It shouldn't still hurt. And clotted blood ain't gonna flow if you poke a needle into it.
    Some knew me as Piper, others as just Diane.
    I hiked the PCT: Mexico to Mt. Shasta, 2008. Santa Barbara to Canada, 2009.

  11. #11
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    If I walk barefoot around the house it will start hurting. I wear Crocs and it feels ok. Crocs must be the cure!!!

  12. #12
    Registered User gunner76's Avatar
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    T
    ake 2 ibuprophen and paint toe nail with "white out" ....problem fixed
    Or paint the rest to match the black one
    Hammock Hanger by choice

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  13. #13
    Registered User Yukon's Avatar
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    Get it checked out by a podiatrist. I stubbed my toe playing basketball and the toe nail went black and eventually fell off. I thought the worst was over. Eventually I had a growth called a "granuloma" under the toe nail, which hurt A LOT. After X-rays and what not they noticed a very small bone spur as well. So, they had to operate on it. Clean up the bone, cut out the granuloma...etc. Put me out of commission for awhile. Don't mess around when it comes to your feet!


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  14. #14
    Registered User Feral Nature's Avatar
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    My black toenail fell off yesterday. I hurt my big toe 2 weeks ago while wearing flip flops, drained it with a needle through the nail several times and used a lot of triple antibiotic ointment. My toe was getting quite infected anyway so I started soaking my foot in hot saltwater twice a day (for about a week) and that really helped. I was almost ready to go to the doctor because I have seen people lose toes and feet because of infections (I'm a nurse). But, all good now. I had bought new hiking shoes the day before I hurt it so am unhappy that I have this issue right now.
    Formerly known as Texas Phlox.

  15. #15
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    There's an old joke with the punchline, "it'll dry up and fall off on its own" which seems to apply here. Might take a couple of months, but in my experience it does eventually do that. Then it takes several months more to grow a new one.

    Like Yukon, my wife had a growth under one of her fingernails, was incredibly painful for several years until a great surgeon found it sorta by accident. Once it was removed, all has been well since.
    Ken B
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    Our Long Trail journal

  16. #16
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    a friend told me after my 1st toe nail loss, you are not a real hiker until you lose a toe nail. trail runners 1/2 size larger helps a lot

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