Having a black toenail is not an uncommon occurrence today. This phenomenon usually occurs due to injury or accident that causes the blood vessel in the toe to rupture and bleed.
If the blood does not find an outlet, then it dries in that very place, turning black or blue in color.
Causes and Symptoms
Black toenail is usually caused due to injury, which could be due to stubbing your toe against something or dropping something heavy on your toe or due to some force acting against your toe in a repetitive manner.
For example, wearing shoes of the wrong size could lead to pressure being put on the toe, leading to a blackened nail. Alternatively, nail fungus could also lead to the blackening of the toenail, which is another cause of this condition.
Symptoms of this condition include discoloring of the nail to green, black, purple etc. This is accompanied by the nails becoming brittle and cracking at the slightest touch. Some may experience pain while walking, whilst also experiencing a foul smell being emitted from the region.
Prevention, Cure and Treatment
When caused by injury or trauma, then there is no need to treat it as it will heal naturally. Of course, care should be taken not to aggravate the situation. Wearing proper fitting shoes is a good way of ensuring that the situation does not aggravate.
Moreover, it also prevents such occurrences in the future. When wearing shoes with laces, make sure you tie your laces properly as this ensures that your foot does not slide forward, which could cause trauma to the toenail. Additionally, make sure your nails are trimmed regularly as these will help prevent black toenail.
However, when it is caused due to nail fungus, then it is important to treat the area in order to prevent its spread. Curing such conditions is possible through topical as well as oral medications.
Topical creams take a long time to cure and may not cure the actual cause of the problem but do not cause any side effects. Oral medications on the other hand, cure internally but could cause side effects in some.
Irrespective of the cause of black toenail, it is best to get medical help to ensure that it does not spread and heals properly.