Why is my toenail black?

  Black toenails are usually caused by blood pooling beneath the nail. You can get this injury by running in shoes that don’t fit correctly. If your shoe is too short, your nail will constantly be hitting the front of it—especially if you haven’t trimmed it in a while. Sweaty feet will slide around more in the shoe, too, again bumping into the front. Make sure you wear shoes that are a half inch longer than your longest toe, and socks that keep your feet dry.

Black toenails can also occur with an injury to the toe, like dropping something heavy on it. A subungual hematoma with pressure and pain may need to be drained (don’t try this yourself!). In addition, dark toenails could indicate a fungal infection, or in rare cases, a malignant melanoma. This is a fast-growing cancer, so any time you see a dark spot, be sure to have your toenails checked.

The podiatrists at Atlantic Foot & Ankle Associates can diagnose and treat all your toenail problems. Call us at (386) 788-6333 in Port Orange, (386) 957-4818 in Edgewater, or one of the other locations and numbers on our website.