Black Toenail Fungus

Black toenail fungus can be an embarrassing condition to carry. It’s very noticeable when you wear open shoes. A healthy toenail should be white in color. Some conditions can cause your toenails to discolor.

Related post: How to Maintain Healthy Nails

For instance, some nail polish contributes much to staining to your nails, but the good news is that this condition is reversible.

In this article guide, I will give you all the information you need to know about toenail discoloring. You will know what factors cause your toenails to discolor as well as what you should do to prevent this condition. Note that toenail discoloring is perfectly normal. It should not cause much alarm.

What Is It

black toenail fungus

Black toenail fungus is what its name suggests: it turns your toenails black due to various causes. It may look alarming for some people at first because of the unusual look it gives.


It is always good for the person who has a black toenail fungus to understand some potential causes of such a condition. The following are some of the causes of black toenails:

Fungal Infection

Fungal infections are said to be one of the primary causes. You know you have a fungal infection if you have yellow patches of discoloring in the toenails.

However, when there is a mass fungal infestation in your toenail, the toenail will have black coloring on them. This means the fungi has fully infected your toenail.

In most cases, a fungal infection in your nail is from the shoes you wear. Wet socks can cause some breeding room for fungus to develop that will eventually harm your nails.

black toenail fungus

This condition is easily preventable by wearing clean, dry footwear at all times.

Medical Conditions

Some medical conditions such as diabetes, anemia, heart diseases as well as kidney diseases can cause your toenails to darken.

It is always advisable to visit your doctor as early as you detect the blackening of your toenail as this is one of the signs that you might have the above medical condition. 

Proper medical treatment by a professional physician will help regain the color of your original toenails.

Changes of the Pigmentation

Every individual possesses a different skin tone. For instance, you might find that people with a darker skin tone may develop some dark patches right under their toenails.

Pigmentation changes occur uniformly. In other words, when one toenail in one foot has a dark patch, it also leaves a dark patch on the opposite foot.

In most cases, this signals that the black toenail is healthy and can happen due to your skin tone.

Regular Trauma Condition

Regular trauma condition occurs in most cases when a person wears shoes that are not their size.

Wearing small shoes can cause your toenails to discolor because it’s suffocating.

black toenail fungus

When you wear cramped shoes, it could cause nail blisters, leading to blood clots. If this goes on for too long, it’ll cause serious harm to your nails. You can easily do away with the trauma condition on your toenails by choosing footwear wisely.

This means that you should wear the right shoe size to minimize the pressure you put on your toes whenever you are walking.


black toenail fungus

Melanoma is a common aggressive type of skin cancer and is a severe condition. But when detected early just like many others, it can be completely treatable.

Some notable symptoms of melanoma include dark patches and uneven skin tone. This includes the skin under your toenails as well.

When you notice some black spots on your nail bed, especially when you are taking a shower or when getting a pedicure, seek immediate medical attention to prevent the condition from worsening.

Blunt Forces

Some patients who have black toenails conditions are victims of blunt force injuries.

Blunt force injuries can be from the fall of heavy objects on the toenails or sustaining a cut by other blunt objects.

When this happens, blood vessels from your nail bed separate from its roots, causing blood clotting on your toenail. This can be extremely painful and can cause a bit of swelling. Seek medical help if you sustain this injury.


Some symptoms of the black toenail condition may include:

black toenail fungus

In some cases, some black toenail symptoms are not easily seen through the naked eye.

For instance, if the cause of black toenail is from a fungal infection, you may experience pain which will lead to scratching. This will eventually result in redness, bad odor, and swelling. 



A black toenail fungus can cause body complications. For instance, when fungal infections cause your toenails to darken, the infection can spread to other parts of your body, leading to other possible sicknesses.

For this reason, it is advisable to seek medical attention anytime you have discomfort on your toe.


As indicated earlier, a black toenail in most cases is normal and should not cause much alarm.

However, the present condition of the toenail will help you to decide whether to seek medical attention or to use home remedies to treat the condition.

If you notice one of the symptoms mentioned above, by all means, never ignore them. Seek professional help immediately.

Also, if you notice that more than 25% of your toenail has discoloration, all the more you should immediately seek medical advice.

Medical Treatment

Doctors will perform a test on you to check what caused your condition.

They will check if your nail bed is bleeding and whether the nail bed has sustained injuries. Your medication will be based on your doctor’s findings, whether the condition is severe or not.

For instance, if the doctor finds your black toenail fungus is caused by blunt force, they might opt to remove your toenail completely. This will allow your toenail to grow back the way it was before the infection.

General Treatments

  • Complete removal of the affected toenail
  • Injection medication which will create a small hole on your toenail to help drain off all blood clot in your toenail.
  • Cautery medication which involves the use of the battery-operated device to make a hole in the toenail to help drain off all the blood clot.


Professional medics say that prevention is better than cure. Some of the preventive measures include:

Trimming Toenails

It is always advisable to cut your toenails at an appropriate length to prevent your toenails from getting dirty.

Wear Shoes Your Size

Make sure that you get the right size of your shoe. This will prevent your feet from suffocating and acquiring blisters.

Wear Protective Footwear

During sunny seasons, try wearing clean, open shoes. This will prevent your feet from creating a moist environment where bacteria can possibly thrive.

Take Extra Care with Heavy Objects

Always see into it that you take much caution when moving heavy objects to avoid sustaining injuries in case a heavy object falls.

Treat Any Nail Problems at the Early Stage

If you notice anything unusual on your mails, try giving home remedy treatment at early stages to prevent the condition from worsening.

See a Doctor

In instances when you notice that the black toenail condition has taken long before it goes away or when you notice that about 25% or more of your toenail has a black toenail condition, seek medical attention.

Always Observe Proper Hygiene

Always keep your nails clean and dry at all times. This way, cases of black toenail conditions will not affect your nails. When your nails are clean, you will always detect any deformities on your nails.


Most of us care about hygiene, but in most cases, we forget to take care of our feet in the right recommended ways. For this reason, we end up subjecting ourselves to conditions like the black toenail.

Having read through this article has hopefully given you a clear view of nail care, as well as the possible causes of black toenail condition so that you get to know the right treatment to accord the situation. Always remember that taking full control of your hygiene leads to worry-free, healthy living.

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