If you’ve recently looked down at your feet and noticed a black toenail, you may be wondering if there’s cause for concern and how to get rid of it. More often than not, a black toenail is a result of an injury or trauma to the nails, but sometimes it could be a sign of a toenail fungal infection. This article will help you learn how to tell the difference.
Posted by: Bullard Foot & Ankle Institute
Nail Conditions: Black Toenails
If you’re an athlete, especially if you’re a runner, odds are high you’ve experienced this condition. Perhaps after a long run you slipped off your shoes and noticed the change. Maybe you were playing another sport and stubbed your foot, or dropped something heavy on your toes. However the injury occurred, your toenail turned black—what happens now?
Black toenails are usually caused by trauma to the nails. The damage can occur all at once—a sudden, sharp injury to the toe—or by repetitive harm to the nail over time. The damage to your foot causes the area under the nail to bleed and swell resulting in the dark coloring. Sometimes the bruise separates the nail from the foot, killing part of it and making it prone to tearing. If the leaking blood pools under the nail, it can exert painful pressure on the toe and may need to be drained.
Though not always serious, the injury can hide severe damage underneath. When large areas of the nail have darkened, that could be a sign that the skin under the nail has been lacerated, or the bone underneath has fractured. If those areas get infected, you could lose your toe to amputation. If a nail is discolored but you didn’t injure it, you will need to have it examined immediately—the darkening could be caused by an infection or by melanoma.
If you haven’t experienced trauma or injury to your toenail, but notice that it’s darkened or even simply discolored, you may have a toenail fungal infection. If you’re wondering how you got toenail fungus in the first place, check out this blog.
You’ll read about many ways to get rid of toenail fungus – such as over-the-counter oral medications, topical treatments or home remedies – but ultimately these don’t get rid of the fungus completely and it ends up coming back.
Instead, ask a qualified podiatrist about toenail fungus laser treatment or learn more in the free download below.
At Adler Footcare you’ll get the best podiatrist in New York to treat your toenail fungal infection with laser treatment. We believe feet shouldn’t hurt and neither should their treatment.