If you are aware when you first injure your toe, some folks have saved the nail by using a pin through the nail to drain the blood. After the first day or so, it's too late and the nail will eventually fall off (usually several months later).
The best cure is prevention: Getting boots that are sized correctly and hug your foot snugly enough to prevent the foot from slipping forward when you are out of balance or jam the tip. Black toes are usually not caused by boots that are too tight; just the opposite in most cases.
If you are getting "hammer toe" it's time to work on fore/aft balance. Unless this was an isolated incident, you are using way too much tail pressure to regain balance after getting in the backseat. If you don't correct this, you can still get hammer toe even with a good fitting boot since you can generate such large forces when you load the ski tail.
After the toenail has turned black, the damage has already been done. The dark color is due to blood under the toenail. It happens because the nail has separated from the nail bed. This usually is because of too much pressure on the end of the toenail (thus the reason to keep your toenails clipped short and to make sure your boots and shoes fit properly) or due to direct trauma to the nail and nail bed (toe slamming into the front or top of your boots or getting your toe stepped on). If a large enough portion of the nail has been separated from the nail bed the toenail will eventually fall off and there's no way to prevent it from happening.
Getting the blood out from under the toenail only relieves pain. It will not prevent the nail from falling off. The drill bit works great. Use the smallest drill bit you can find. I definitely recommend it. It's probably the easiest I've done it myself with success. Another method is to unbend a paper clip, heat up one end with a lighter until it's red hot and then let it melt through the toenail. I think it's harder to use the paper clip on yourself since fear of burning yourself may prevent you from being aggressive enough to get through the nail. In our office we have an electrical probe that heats up and melts through the nail like the hot paper clip. It's definitely easier to do on someone else rather than on yourself. Either way, you'll know you've gotten all the way through the nail when you see blood coming from the hole you've just made.
I just had my whole big toenail removed today. 360.00 for the minor surgery. Not from athletic activities. Get some anti-fungal cream or Lamisil(pill)to treat the bacteria that will grow underneath the nail. The upside of this whole deal is you'll be healed up for next ski season. [img]smile.gif[/img]
Slider, sounds like you had onychomycosis, or toenail fungus. Toenail removal is a procedure a do a few times every week, usually due to ingrown toenails but occasionally due to toenail fungus. Not a very pretty or eloquent procedure. Lots of pushing and pulling to get the toenail separated from the nail bed and removed. But, it definitely works and, believe it or not, is much less expensive than the medication used to treat toenail fungus.