Dark Toenails – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Dark toenails or black toenails are mainly caused by trauma and fungal or bacterial infection.

While running or hitting a foot ball you may mistakenly hit the ground or any hard substance. This causes blood on to accumulates at the top of the nail giving a black or very dark reddish color. Then you may call it a trauma. Also referred as Subungual Hematoma or runner’s toe. This causes tremendous pain. You may need to have a medical treatment for this. If the wound is severe you may be advised to remove nail plate, laceration is one such case.

Related post: Get rid of foot fungus

Though black toenail caused by trauma is common, there are lots of people who get a dark toenail because of fungus. Fungal infection is something more important to worry than trauma. Because in case of trauma you will known that you’ve a wound or you got hurt, but in case of fungal infection you don’t see any symptoms until your nail affected and if you leave it gets worse.

Black or Dark toenail symptoms

Dark Toenails

  • Toenail discoloration, which may be black, reddish or yellowish.
  • You will experience pain.
  • Bad odor.
  • Discharge form underneath nail.

These few important and common symptoms found in a dark toenail.

Causes of Black or Dark Toenails

Two main causes of dark toenail has been already discussed. Added up few more here is the list.

  1. Trauma caused by running, hitting any hard substance on your nail or an injury.
  2. Fungal infection, caused mostly because of gap between nail plate and nail bed.
  3. Malignant melanoma (a rare condition).

Treating Dark Toenails

If it’s from a trauma then often it recovers itself. You don’t have to do anything. If you’ve severe pain then you’re advised to consult a doctor. If in case you’ve an injury then take care of it, as bacteria or fungi can invade and it may cause fungal infection.

But in case of fungal infection causing black toenail don’t ignore. Here you must treat fungus. And there are many home remedies and other effective treatment methods discussed before. (click on links to read)

In case of minor trauma you don’t need to see a Doctor. You can just leave it or using needle make a hole so that the accumulated blood will get out (take care while doing this). It takes sometime to see the hole covered up.

Or you can remove the nail plate which will carried out by a podiatrist. It takes few months to get back a new nail depending on severity of your injury.

Note: Don’t expect a plain nail after treatment. Read this.

Few tips for preventing dark toenail

  1. Stay away from used socks and tight shoes.
  2. Cut your nails regularly.
  3. While playing a foot ball wear spikes or football shoes, also while running.
  4. Keep your nails clean and dry.
  5. Be careful while lifting heavy objects.
  6. Take care of your nails.

More resources on black toenail

  • http://www.footvitals.com/toenails/black-toenail.html
  • http://running.about.com/od/commonrunninginjuries/p/blacktoenail.htm
  • http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20131019224030AA214nA
  • http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/ate/menshealth/207657.html


  1. […] in acute case you can treat this dark colored nails at your home using few simple remedies. Here are few home remedies jot down if you […]

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