In medical terms, a Black Toenail is called a Subungual hematoma, which means “blood underneath a nail.”
Usually the blackened nail does not require medical treatment but should be regularly checked for any abnormal changes as it heals. Initially there is swelling and associated pain that should ease within days.
The problems associated with Black Nails occurs when the nail grows out… and here’s why…
Your Black Toenail May Develop Nail Fungus
Eventually the dried pocked of blood under the nail reaches the end of your nail exposing a cavity that air and water can enter.
This is where fungus and bacteria can now enter and grow unhindered for many weeks before you even notice the symptoms of a foul smell, probably followed by changes in the colour of the nail.
If you have had nail fungus, already have it, or commonly wear shoes that are even a tiny little bit smelly you need to be especially weary as the fungal spores can easily be transmitted and bed themselves into this black toenail cavity .
Typically white spots appear and this is a sure sign that fungus is growing and happily feeding on the keratin in your nail.
You now have a problem that needs attention fast.
ZetaClear is a likely solution to stop your nail fungus.
If you want to know more about black toenails or black nails read below. Usually there is no need for concern as your nail will heal itself, but do take regular notice as your nail heals.
Symptoms Of Black Toenail
Symptoms of black toenail include a discoloration of the nail.
- Complete nail becomes black in color or there is a black spot on the toenail
- Nail might become thick, foggy and brittle
- Nail may get detached from the nail bed
- Unpleasant smell coming from under the nail
What Causes Black Toenails?
Black toenail is caused due to trauma to the toenail, particularly when something is dropped on the toe or when the toe is hit against a hard object.
The affected person may feel pain when the entire nail is involved. But, in most cases, black toenails are just unsightly and initially painful.
Black Toenail Fungus
Other causes of black toenails include certain underlying health problems, chronic ingrown nails and fungal infections.
Athletes are at risk for black nail fungus since their feet are always exposed to moisture due to the shoes and socks they are wearing.
Normally, fungus thrives and cultivates in dark, warm and damp places. These conditions are perfect breeding ground for black toenail fungus.
Treatment Of Black Toenail
Black toenails usually require no treatment but do check for signs of fungal infection regularly once the blood clot area reaches the end of the toenail or fingernail. The pain will usually lessens each day after the toe injury.
In severe cases the traumatic black toenail will eventually fall off letting the new nail to grow. However, if you suspect any redness along with infection, consult a doctor.
As your nail grows out, and depending on the severity of the dried blood deposit, your nail may begin to lift and let in moisture.
It is especially important that you keep the underneath of the nail clean and dry as this protected area is a perfect breeding ground for nail fungus.
You will need to keep a close eye on any changes to the nail colour and texture as these are symptoms of a fungal infection.
Prevention Of Black Toenail
You can prevent the cause of black toenails and black fingernails by following these simple tips:
- Be dilegent about where you are placing your hands and feet. Stubbing your toe and catching your fingernail in the car door are very common causes.
- Avoid wearing ill-fitting shoes that allow your foot to move back and forth, particularly when you are running.
- Keep your nails short and clean, but avoid cutting them too short.
Do I Need to Worry About Black Nails?
Black nails are harmless and usually nothing to worry about. The bleeding under the nail will eventually dry and a new and healthy nail will eventually grow out the dry blood.
Black toenail treatment is like treating a nail fungus without the trouble of applying a treatment.
You will have a healthy looking nail only after several months since the toenail grows very slowly, about 1 mm per month.
Careful cleaning and drying under the nail is crucial when the nail starts to lift of leaves an air pocket underneath the nail.
This gap provides a perfect growing environment for nail fungus and you will need to monitor your nail closely for symptoms of nail fungus.
However, if you are not sure of what has happened to your nail and it looks bruised and painful, it is best to seek an expert’s advice. It might be possible that you have developed an underlying infection.
Although rare, it is crucial to know that black toenails can also indicate the development of melanoma, a type of skin cancer, under the nail.
If your nail has streaks instead of discoloration, seek your doctor’s advice for further clarification.
In some serious cases, there may be a blister under the toenail, which may be swollen and painful. Here, the blister is pricked with the help of a needle to drain out the fluid.
But, if the swelling and redness persist even after draining the fluid out of the blister, then it may be a sign of infection.
Avoiding the infections can be dangerous since it can lead to gangrene, diabetes and blood infections.
How to Prevent Black Toenail?
Black toenails are commonly caused by ill-fitting shoes. Hence, a good fitting shoes are required for healthy toenails.
A proper tensioned lacing is also important to keep the foot from sliding forward in the shoe.
Make sure your nails are trimmed back as far as possible since this will stop the nail from bumping up on the front of your shoes.
If you are working in an accident-prone area, do purchase a reliable footwear to avoid injury to your toenails.