Why Do Toenails Turn Black?

Why Do Toenails Turn Black?
Why Do Toenails Turn Black? Sarah Walsh © 2007

Causes Of Black Toenails

Black toenails are not only unsightly, but they may also be a sign of a rare medical condition.

In most cases, a black toenail is caused by either fungus or injury to the nail bed. In under five percent of cases, a black toenail can be a sign of melanoma, according to LiveStrong.Com.

If the toenail gets injured, a small pocket of blood can form. This gives the nail a black color. Continual bleeding can cause extreme pain. The pain is usually relieved by drilling a small hole into the nail. Fungus can also turn a toenail black. Since fungus grows best in moist places, the toes make a perfect breeding ground.

The fungus can also leave the toenails brittle. In some cases, a black toenail can signal a form of skin cancer known as lentiginous melanoma. The black nail usually occurs on the big toe. A dermatologist can diagnosis the cause of a black toenail.

To prevent black toenails, make sure that you’re wearing the correct shoe size. According to About.com, Runners should even consider wearing shoes 1/2 size bigger than their normal street shoes.

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