Toenails with black or darkened discoloration can be the result of various injuries or underlying health problems. Such nails are generally called black toenails, and they can be caused by trauma, fungal infections, a chronic ingrown nail, or other concerns related to overall health.
Most of the time, black toenails are caused by minor traumas to the toenail. When something is dropped on the toe or when the toe hits the end of a shoe, it can result in a blood clot or bleeding underneath the nail. This can produce a black, purple, or brownish discoloration under or even involving the whole nail. In more severe cases, it can lead to unbearable pain, and the person may need medical attention to prevent further bleeding.
Melanoma is a form of skin cancer that is a more serious cause of black toenails, but it is significantly rare. It is important that all black toenails are assessed by a qualified podiatrist to rule out this cause as early treatment of melanoma improves the chances of a good outcome.
If you notice that one or more of your toenails is darkened, it is important to have it checked by a qualified foot and ankle surgeon. They can diagnose and treat it appropriately to avoid any additional problems or complications. Dr Gilbert Huang DPM is a specialist trained to diagnose and treat such conditions. His team at Houston Foot and Ankle Care uses the latest diagnostic and treatment technologies to provide excellent care to patients with all types of foot and ankle problems.
In some cases, the pressure causing the bruised nail can lead to a small sore under the toenail, which can ultimately lead to an infection. Therefore, timely evaluation is important to rule out any potential hazards.
Diabetic patients, who are at a higher risk for infections, should be extra cautious when it comes to black toenails. They need to carefully monitor any change in the color of their toenails and report it to their podiatrist immediately.
If you have a black toenail or notice any change in the color of your toenail, don’t ignore it. Contact Dr Gilbert Huang DPM and schedule an appointment at Houston Foot and Ankle Care to get an evaluation and treatment.