Black And Blue Nails


Black And Blue Nails ~ The natural color of a toenail is usually white. However, some occurrences make the toenails turn black or blue. This black and blue nail discoloration may come about due to the following reasons:


A Must-Read: How to Cut Toenails if You Can’t Reach ThemOpens in a new tab.


  • Natural deficiencies in the diet
  • Nail polish
  • Infections
  • Or even trauma

The two phenomena are slightly different from each other regarding causes or even treatment.


Black Toenail


Black And Blue Nails

Black toenails are a nail discoloration that comes from some causes, some of which disappear on their own. However, there are instances when they don’t. If that happens, you will have to visit a doctor or a medic to get rid of the cause of your black toe.


What Could be the Causes of Black Toenails?


Black And Blue Nails

Here are some causes of black toenails:


  • Fungal infections – it could be due to the fungal infection debris build-up. These infections usually thrive in warm and moist environments. Therefore, your toenails are prone to infection.
  • Melanoma – a skin condition that appears as a dark brown misshapen spot. Such spots may also appear underneath the nail bed.
  • Pre-existing medical conditions – kidney disease and anemia can potentially build up the condition.
  • Trauma – Trauma to the toenail can cause the blood vessels beneath the toenail to break. The bleeding beneath the nail appears black. Traumas are usually caused by an injury.


How Serious Can the Condition Be?

Complications arising from Melanoma in the toenail can be mistaken from the trauma-induced black toenail.

It is therefore prudent to consult your doctor in case you notice any black spots that might spread throughout the nail.

Furthermore, toenail fungus that is left unchecked can spread throughout your feet and the body. Eventually, this can cause permanent nail damage.

Black toenail trauma is usually depicted with the absence of extensions to the lateral nail folds and typically goes away without treatment as the nail grows with time.


What are the Preventive Measures?


Black And Blue Nails

When you have pre-existing conditions, there are special measures you need to take. One important measure is reducing direct sun exposure to your feet and applying sunscreen to your feet to prevent melanoma.


Black And Blue Nails

However, when an underlying condition causes it, proper treatment and management of the pre-existing condition is the way to go.

These measures involve wearing closed shoes when working. This will protect your nails from getting hit by dropped objects.

Wearing proper-fitting shoes during exercise such as running can also assist in preventing toenail trauma.

If you are an athlete, decrease the intensity of your training.

Nail discoloration will eventually clear up if you expose it to less repetitive training.


Are There Treatments for This Condition?


Black And Blue Nails


  1. You can easily deal with fungal infections through home-treatments. This is true as long as you spot the signs early. Creams, over the counter ointments and polishes, can be useful. However, severe cases should have a prescription antifungal treatment.
  2. For a black toenail caused by an injury, the resulting spot from the broken blood vessel will disappear once your toenail grows out.
  3. For the black toenails caused by trauma from an injury, they usually heal up on their own without treatment.
  4. On the other hand, if the toenail grows out and still appears black, then the symptoms might be related to other underlying conditions.


Blue Toenail

A blue toenail condition is usually observed when the color of the nail turns to a dark blue or purple color. This particular type of condition can range from how difficult it is to manage.


What Could be the Causes of This Condition?



  • It is usually due to poor circulation of the red blood cells throughout the body. When the nails do not get enough blood to flow through them, the membranes beneath your skin can turn to a dark blue or purple color.
  • Cold temperatures are also a factor that can contribute to your blue toenails. The cold temperatures will make your blood vessels constrict, causing the blood that is rich in oxygen to follow a narrow pathway through the vessels to your toenail.

Important to note!

Poor blood circulation in the body can be quite dangerous, especially to those with underlying conditions such as diabetes. Therefore, you should check the colors of the toenails regularly.

Not just that, you should also understand the real cause of any nail discoloration if there are.

Nail colors are a great indicator of your general health. Whereas the lack of enough blood flow, causes the blue toenail, it should be understood that there are other possible conditions to consider.

These symptoms can depict the likelihood of an existing condition that is even more threatening.


The Preventive Measures


Blue nails caused by cold temperatures is a typical response by the body to keep the internal body organs at the right temperature.

Restore oxygen in the blood by breathing regularly at intervals.

This condition can be due to problems in the lungs, heart blood cells or blood vessels. Some refer to blue nails as cyanosis. It can arise due to several conditions namely;


  • Lung disease
  • Heart disease
  • Abnormal blood cells (congenital or acquired)
  • Inappropriate constriction of blood cells

The treatment of blue nails entirely involves the ability to determine the underlying cause and correctly restore the oxygen level in the blood.




  • Blue color skin
  • High-pitched breath sounds
  • Peripheral cyanosis
  • Pale complexion
  • Dizziness
  • Fast heart rate


General Characteristics


A change in the color of the nail enamel itself does not cause blue or black toenails. Instead, injuries or any other pre-existing conditions are the culprits.

Avoid athletic shoes that do not have adequate space in the toe box. They cause the toes to repeatedly bang against the top, front, sides of the shoe during daily physical exertion.

The continued stress to the toe will result in a blood blister beneath the nail enamel.

This is much common among runners and soccer players, due to their sensitive nature during the rough impacts, and the effect can be more pronounced in athletes if the toenails are not regularly trimmed.

Change to an athletic shoe that has a more spacious toe box to decrease the discomfort of black toenails.


For Prescription Medications

The doctor may hand you prescription meds to treat the probable cause of nail discoloration. For instance, the doctor may prescribe you oral or antifungal drug doses such as Nizoral, Lamisil, or Diflucan, any other recommended drug.


However, using oral medications has its complications. They take several weeks, even months to take effect. Even then, you might not observe any results until a new toenail grows back.

Oral antifungals can also give you headaches, stomach upset, liver toxicity, and even rashes.

At times, you will have to depend on your body to tolerate the drug treatment and even get periodic blood check-ups.


Cream and a Penlac/Brush


Unlike the oral antifungal medications, the cream and Penlac antifungal agents have not proven effective at treating nail discoloration and other toenail conditions

Topical medications do not permeate hard nails. However, we recommend you polish your nails before applying medications.

Just like other treatments, this might also take a long time before observing any result.


Nail Lacquers


Similar to the cream and brush, nail lacquers show more promise. They contain penetrating fungicidal agents that you apply or paint on the surrounding skin and the toenail.

You should use this product daily for several weeks or even months. This will test your commitment and compliance.

Unfortunately, using nail lacquers also come with drawbacks. These include:


  • rashes
  • itching
  • scaling skin



If medications do not resolve the condition, surgical intervention may be necessary.

The medic would recommend surgery to remove the toenail if the infection is resistant to the drug therapy and if there are intense pain and discomfort for your condition.

On the other hand, the doctor may determine it is necessary to remove a nail to place medication directly on the infected part of the skin.


Treatments with Laser

While the current research is promising, the overall evidence is still at the birth stage. There is yet to be a confirmation if the technology works better than other types of treatment.

The good news is that initial evidence provided deduced the technology to be helpful in reducing the symptoms.




Out of all the treatments that you can choose, you will have to wait for a longer time to start observing results.

The moment you spot nail discoloration, seek medical advice immediately. The sooner you start treatment, the more successful you will be able to get rid of the fungal infection and grow a healthy nail.


Aren’t There Any Home Remedies?


Despite the many medical recommendations you are advised to take, there are simple methods you can use at home to try to remedy the condition. For instance, if you have athlete’s foot.

These remedies include using some easily accessible home products.


These include:

Foot soak – this method recommends soaking your feet in a solution of vinegar. This may help to ease the athlete’s foot.

The vinegar contains acetic acid which has antifungal properties. A cup of vinegar mixed with two cups of water.

Oil from tea tree – which has been researched and found to have antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.

It is an essential oil, and it has a long history of use in Australia as a topical remedy for skin conditions. As is depicted in the Australian Journal of Dermatology.

Use of herbs – the use of the famous Sosa in Mexico as a remedy for athlete’s foot and related fungal infection of the skin.

After only four weeks of applying the herb, the treatment was a success.

Vicks Vapor Rub and Listerine – has herbal ingredients like menthol to help stop the pain if there is any and any growth of fungi.

Use of hydrogen peroxide of at least 3% concentration – this can assist as a remedy for black toenail fungus.

It is mixed with water in equal ratios and then the feet soaked in the solution mixture for twenty minutes.

This should be done twice a day until the results can be observed. Your feet should be dried well after the treatments.

And any other product that can be used for the treatment of the blue and black conditions.

Also, prevention measures must be taken to ensure there is no reinfection.


Measures of Prevention for a Reinfection


There are several steps you can take to ensure you prevent reinfection:


  • Make sure you keep your feet completely clean and dry, between your toes and around.
  • Wear comfortable cotton socks, fresh pair a day.
  • Avoid tight, closed shoes that might bring about moisture and heat which promote the formation of black and blue toenails.
  • Wash your socks in hot water. And do not share socks.
  • Wear sandals in washrooms or public places.
  • Keep your toenails trimmed and avoid using the same nail trimmer on healthy and infected nails. You can use sterilized nail clippers to maintain your toenails.

Understand all the measures provided before taking any measures.

It is more prudent to consult and find out more about the condition you have before anything else.

If only the pain is manageable, should you leave it to fall off when the new begins to grow healthy?

Another option as reviewed above is home treatment using the available products, such as tea tree oil, hydrogen peroxide at least 3% concentrated, vinegar and others.

And remember, prevention is always better than cure. So know your black and blue nails are important.



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