Faqs About A Black Toenail

It is not uncommon for athletes to have a toenail turn black. There are various reasons that a toenail can turn black and whether or not medical intervention is needed depends on the cause. If you have a black toenail, here is what you need to know. 

Why Is Your Toenail Black?

There are a few reasons that could explain why your toenail is black. If you are an athlete, the black toenail could be the result of your toe constantly hitting the end of your shoe as you run. The repeated action basically causes a bruise that turns the nail black. In most instances, it is not painful. 

A black toenail could also be the result of a fungal infection. When you have an infection, the toenail thickens and turns the nail black. Unlike the bruised toenail, an infection can be painful and impact your ability to continue playing sports until it is treated. 

One cause to be wary of is a malignant melanoma. The melanoma under the toenail develops from dark-pigmented cells that leave your toenail black. In addition to experiencing a blackened toenail, you might notice swelling, itchiness, and pain in the area. 

What Can You Do?

If the black toenail is the result of running, you should consider switching your shoes. You can order custom-fitted shoes that will allow the room your toes need and are still good for running. Ensure the lacing on the shoes is tight enough to keep your feet from sliding. The more your feet slide while running, the more likely it is that your toe will keep hitting the end of the shoe. 

If the problem is a related to a fungal infection, a podiatrist will need to trim back the nail and prescribe a topical antifungal ointment. You will need to apply the ointment as directed. The doctor might recommend also taking an oral medication to help improve your condition. 

Malignant melanoma must be treated by a podiatrist. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of the disease, you need to schedule an examination as soon as possible. The earlier the disease is diagnosed, the more likely it is that you will make a full recovery. 

It is important to remember that your podiatrist can address any concerns that you have about a black toenail or any other foot ailments that you experience. Consult with podiatrists in your area to avoid further complications and to get the medical help you need.