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Causes of Toenail Loss From Hiking

Tuesday, 16 May 2023 00:00

Hikers toenail is a condition that can be painful, unsightly and a generally unpleasant experience among people who enjoy this activity. It also can lead to other conditions, including fungal infections and misshapen toenails. Symptoms of hikers toenail include a blackened appearance of the nail, which is actually caused by blood forming underneath it. Combined with the warm and moist environment that develops within hiking boots, it is a perfect breeding ground for fungal infections. One of the main causes of hikers toenail is improperly fitting footwear. Specifically, boots that are too short and boots that leave too much room for the foot to slide are the top causes. Both can make the toes push forward against the tip of the boot. If this continues, it can form an ingrown toenail, or it can actually separate the toenail from the nailbed. In most cases, however, the toenails simply become bruised, cracked, and blackened. For treatment of severely bruised toenails, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist, who is a trained foot doctor and can help to remedy the situation.

Toe pain can disrupt your daily activities. If you have any concerns, contact Dr. Gerald Perelman of Ohio. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Causes Toe Pain?

Most severe toe pain is caused due to a sports injury, trauma from dropping something heavy on the toe, or bumping into something rigid. Other problems can develop over time for various reasons.

Toe pain can be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Trauma
  • Sports injury
  • Wearing shoes that are too tight
  • Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Corns and calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Blisters
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Sprains
  • Fractures (broken bones)
  • Dislocations

When to See a Podiatrist

  • Severe pain
  • Persistent pain that lasts more than a week
  • Signs of infection
  • Continued swelling
  • Pain that prevents walking


In many cases the cause of toe pain is obvious, but in others, a podiatrist may want to use more advanced methods to determine the problem. These can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.


Treatments for toe pain and injuries vary and may include shoe inserts, padding, taping, medicines, injections, and in some cases, surgery. If you believe that you have broken a toe, please see a podiatrist as soon as possible.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Wilmington, OH . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

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