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Black toenails are attributed to a variety of causes, some of which resolve on their own. If your nail doesnt get better, youll need to see your doctor to rule out a more serious cause of. On average, black toenails can take up to a few months to completely heal and return to normal, as nails tend to grow at a rate of approximately 3mm a month. Can black toenails be prevented? Here are some tips to help you prevent black toenails keep toenails trimmed properly, not too short and straight across. Sometimes, nails become black because of a traumatic injury, but other nail changes may reflect an underlying condition. Common causes of toenails turning black include ill-fitting shoes, fungus, dropping an object on the toe and cutting the nail too short. Impact to the toenail causes bleeding underneath the nails surface. A black, purple or brownish discoloration under or involving a toenail is frequently due to trauma to the toenail, such as when something is dropped on the toe. The color results from a blood clot or bleeding under the nail and may involve the entire nail or just a small portion of it. Black toenails are more common in runners who run long or at a high intensity than in those who are just getting started. Still, now is the time to work on tactics to prevent them as you start to. Say youre not a runner, your shoes are roomy, and youre sure you havent hurt your toe -- yet you have one or more black toenails. If you suffer from black toenails because of repetitive trauma, there are some ways to prevent blackened and bruised toenails. Doctors from the cleveland clinic have published the following advice to help prevent black toenails caused by repeated small injuries 3. For minor cases of black toenails caused by trauma, you may simply need to wait it out until the bruise in the nailbed goes away. Even so, it is still a good idea to come in and have our experts check it out to ensure there is not a greater concern. When treatment is necessary, we may need to drain out any pooled blood. 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.