Black Toenail

A black toenail, also known as a subungual hematoma, is a condition in which a section of the toenail darkens or goes black. This can happen because of toenail trauma, such as frequently banging the toe against the front of a shoe, jogging, or dumping something heavy on the toe. The damage produces bleeding behind the toenail, which results in discoloration.


A black toenail can be caused by an underlying medical problem such as a fungal infection, diabetes, or peripheral artery disease in some situations. If you have a black toenail that isn't improving, or if you observe additional symptoms like fever, redness, or swelling, you should consult a doctor. They can assist in determining the source of the discoloration and recommending the best course of therapy.


A black toenail is distinguished by a black, blue, or purple staining of the toe, discomfort, or soreness in the afflicted region, and swelling surrounding the toe. In rare situations, the afflicted region may also emit a foul odor and discharge. If the toenail is not treated, it might become infected and eventually fall off.

In most circumstances, a black toenail is a minor injury that will heal on its own. The discolored toenail will fall out and be replaced by a fresh one over time. Treatment may be required if the damage is serious or there is an underlying medical problem.



Rest and elevation are two treatment options for a black toenail.

Pain and swelling can be reduced by elevating the afflicted foot and avoiding activities that exert pressure on the toe.

Nail care on a regular basis

Toenail trimming and filing can help avoid additional damage and infection.


A soft, cushioning pad wrapped around the toe can assist alleviate pressure and friction.


Antibiotics may be used to help clean up an illness.


If there is a lot of blood under the toe, a doctor may need to drain it to relieve pressure and pain.


In extreme situations, surgery to remove the afflicted section of the toenail may be required.


It is essential to take precautions to avoid developing black toenails in the first place. This might include:

Wearing shoes that fit properly.

Check that your shoes are neither excessively tight or too loose, and that they allow your toes to move freely.

Using appropriate running shoes

If you're a runner, make sure you're wearing running shoes that are comfortable and supportive of your feet.

Wearing protective equipment

Wear protective gear such as socks or toe protectors if you're participating in sports or other activities that put your feet at risk.

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