A subungual hematoma, or bruised toenail, is basically a bleeding under the toenail. A bruised toenail can result in an intense, throbbing pain and as blood collects underneath the toenail.
What Causes Bruised Toenail?
You may likely have noticeable bleeding or bruising behind your toenail if you drop a heavy object on it. Yet, the constant pressure on your nail is usually what results in the bruising when you are dancing on pointe. Pressure strong enough that can lead to bleeding may be caused by poorly fit pointe shoes or improper alignment of the feet. Tiny blood clots form under the nail that will cause throbbing pain to the dancer as the toenail is lifted away from the nail bed. In severe cases, a part of the nail can eventually be lost.
Moreover, toenails can often be bruised after playing sports where the foot swiftly decelerates within the shoe. When the foot decelerates, the foot keeps traveling and jams the toe into the end of the shoe which can cause trauma to the nail.
How to Prevent Bruised Toenails?
To avoid getting bruised toenails, keep your nails trimmed short. While performing en pointe, long toenails can actually wrap around to the top of the toe and put pressure on it. Moreover, it could be a good idea to try a different type of toe pad. Finding the ideal amount of padding for a dancer’s specific foot in pointe shoes can often take years. Strengthening your feet will also help to avoid undue stress on your toes. If your feet are weak, you might be knuckling your toes as a form of compensation, which puts too much pressure on your nails.
Are you suffering from this condition? At The Chelsea Clinic, we can help. One of our podiatrist can assist and then recommend what treatments are best to get you back on track.
Schedule an appointment here or you may call us at +44 (0) 207 101 4000.
We hope you have a feetastic day!
-The Chelsea Clinic and Team