Black Toe

Prevention and Treatment of Black Toe

Cut/trim your toenails to help avoid repeated trauma to the toes. Cut toenails straight across and soften sharp edges with an emery board or clean metal file.

IPFH suggests wearing properly selected and fitted, as part of an integrated approach, padded socks with shoes with non-slip outsoles and any inserts or orthotics prescribed or recommended by a doctor or foot health professional. Peer-reviewed, published studies have shown that wearing clinically-tested padded socks can help protect against injuries to the skin/soft tissue of the foot due to the effects of  impact, pressure and shear forces. Padded socks also help protect the toes from the effects of impact inside the toe box of the shoe or boot, which is especially important for people who walk, run or hike in hilly or mountainous terrain.

Inserts or orthotics that provide extra cushioning are also beneficial. The insert or orthotic should not be slippery, since slippery inserts can cause the foot to slide forward. The result: the toe bangs even more than normal against the front of the shoe.

Properly designed and fitted shoes or boots have sufficient cushioning and room (about the width of a thumbnail) in the toe box so that excessive pressure is not exerted on the forefoot and the toes and toenails are not crowded too closely together.

Once black toe has occurred, it is usually best to simply leave it alone; black toe generally disappears as the nail grows and the bruised area heals. In some cases, the nail may come loose and fall off. A new nail will take its place, but  it usually takes about four to six months to grow to its full length.

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