Blackened toenail

Blackened toenail

A blackened toenail is usually associated with trauma to the nail where blood is pooled below the nail plate. The blood pool or "Hematoma" is commonly seen in nails of long distance runners and athletics which involve high impact.  

Causes of blackened toenails

  •  rubbing of the toes against the top or end of the shoe
  • A  toe fracture usually by dropping a heavy object on the end of the toe
  • structural deformity usually seen with Hammer or Claw toes

how to prevent blackened toenails?

  • Wear properly fitted shoes making sure they are not to short
  • Toenails should be trimmed short when doing athletics
  • wear steel toed boots when transporting heavy objects
  • consult your Podiatrist if Hammer or Claw toes are present to surgically correct the deformity 
  • Treatments:
  • creation of a tiny hole in the nail to release the blood and relieves the pressure may be done if caught soon after injury
  • Total removal of the nail may recommended if the  nail plate appears to be lifting.
  • Removal of the the nail to treat a bone fracture.  Nails that have been removed will grow again within three to six months. If the bone has been fractured but has remained in proper alignment a splint may be used or a surgical shoe to prevent bending of the joint
  • A blackened toe frequently leads to chronic fungal nail issues.  laser therapy along with topical medications is recommended - laser fungal nail section


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