Unknown to many people, the state of your fingernails as well as toenails are a reflection of your general state of health.
For this sole reason, any deviation from the norm means that there could be underlying issues that need urgent attention.
One of the most common problems that occur is the formation of a black spot on the toenail. There are several reasons why this occurs, but the bottom line is that such a sighting will often require to be reviewed by a qualified physician or dermatologist.
Below are some of the causes of a black spot on the toenail.
Injury to the toenail
This is a common occurrence, and is usually the first thing to consider when there is a black spot on the toenail. Injury could result from hitting one’s foot against a wall, or dropping something of substantial weight on one’s foot.
The result is that the blood supply under the nail is cut off when the capillaries are severed. This blood collects at a central point giving the nail that characteristic discoloration that many of us are aware of.
There may be some pain and swelling, but analgesics would take care of this adequately.
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Individuals who run and wear improperly fitting shoes are also likely to suffer from discoloration of the toenails.
This is because such a shoe creates pressure points which cause blood capillaries to be broken off and injuring the surrounding tissue.
The solution for a black spot on the toe arising from this condition is to get proper shoes, as well as fitting socks.
The presence of a fungal infection is another cause for a black spot on a toenail. Usually, the first symptoms for a fungal infection are small white specks and this originates from public places when a person has the habit of walking on wet surfaces without their shoes.
If the infection is not addressed, the nail becomes thick and starts to feature a brownish color which gradually tends towards black. This is a point of concern especially for individuals suffering from diabetes.
While nail polish may cause slight discoloration, bacterial infections will usually result in an alteration in the way the nails look.
The culprit responsible for this is a bacterial species known as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a species that resides on the skin in normal conditions, but if it manages to find a part of the body where the skin is broken, it gets enclosed there leading to an infection.
This infection produces a certain odor which the doctor may be able to pick out. This has also been shown to occur in ladies who don artificial nails.
The bacteria get trapped between the artificial nail and the real nail where it multiplies and results in the fore mentioned infection.
The same happens with individuals who apply nail polish since this creates the same ideal conditions for multiplication of the bacteria.
Whatever the cause of the black spot on the toenail, it is important to see a dermatologist to allay any fears that one’s health could be in danger.