Black Spot Under Toenail – Meanings and Treatment

Black Spot Under Toenail – Meanings and Treatment
February 19, 2022 Ellis James
If you’ve ever looked down and noticed a black spot under toenail, it may have caused you alarm. Certainly, this kind of discovery could mean something serious. But, thankfully, it is also a common occurrence that can have a multitude of benign meanings. So, without further ado, let’s delve into some of the causes for the unsightly black spot under your toenail.

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Black Spot Under Toenail – What does a black spot under the toenail mean?

Black Spot Under Toenail Fungus

Can toenail fungus look black?

Sometimes, a black spot underneath your toenail can signal fungus or bacterial growth. In fact, there are situations in which bacteria and fungus can grow when feet are immersed in wet environments, such as ponds, lakes and pools called Pseudomonas Bacterial Infection.

But there are many other cases in which toenails can become infected with fungus that have nothing to do with damp environments

To know if you are dealing with a fungus, you may want to check for the following:

  • Crumbling Toenails
  • Thick Toenails
  • Toenails That Are Yellow, Green or Discolored
  • Toenails That Curve In

 

Melanoma Under Toenail

Does a black toenail mean cancer?

Rarely, a black spot under a toenail can signal something much more serious. Melanoma beneath a toenail is rare but it does happen from time to time. It often occurs in people 60 or over and who have had other issues related to skin cancer. These black spots tend to take up a lot of space, and often extend over 3mm. If you believe you may have melanoma of the skin beneath your toenail, then it is imperative that you see a podiatrist who can take a biopsy to have this ruled out.

 

Dried Blood/Subcutaneous Hematoma

More often than not, a black spot under your toenail is usually simply a pool of blood beneath the nail known as a subcutaneous hematoma. This can occur for a variety of reasons. A black spot on toenail no pain is often a signal of this very thing, though some people may have pain associated with it.

The most common causes for this type of black spot on toe skin is poor fitting shoes, frequent pressure applied to the toe (such as when running, doing ballet or exercising) or an injury. These causes for toe pain are rarely serious, though. Unfortunately, you may end up losing your toenail if not caught in time.

 

How to Treat Black Spot Under Toenail

  • Black Toenail Fungus: For black toenail fungus, you’ll want to see a podiatrist. In the meantime, using foot soaks, topical solutions and applying creams to your feet will help kill bacteria and varying fungus. You’ll also want to trim your toenails straight across and file your toenail vertically to help deal with this issue.
  • Black Toenail Melanoma: Sometimes, a black spot on nail near cuticle, or anywhere beneath the nail, can signal subungual melanoma. In this case you won’t want to take your chances.

If you can’t think of any possible injury or situation which would cause a black spot to arise beneath your toenail (such as exercise, tight shoes or something dropping on your toe) then you’ll want to see a podiatrist immediately. He or she will be able to take the steps necessary to determine whether or not you have cancer beneath your toenail before it begins to spread to other parts of your body.

Signs of cancer beneath your nail include:

  • Streaks That Increase in Size
  • Brown or Black Spots That Have No Relation to Injury
  • Nails That Develop Nodules
  • Skin That Darkens Next to the Nail
  • Spots That Do Not Move Up as the Nail Grows
  • Your Nail or Toenail Detaches From Skin
  • Cracking or Thinning of The Nail
  • A Streak That Goes From Nail Bed to Cuticle

Note that some of these signs of subungual melanoma may occur even when cancer isn’t present. But if you notice that the majority of these signs ring true, you’ll want to see your podiatrist as soon as possible.

  • Black Toenail Hematoma: If you’ve got a dark pool of blood beneath your nail, it may be a hematoma and you will want to see a podiatrist right away. Although this is not a life-threatening issue, you may lose your toenail if corrective action isn’t taken as soon as you notice it.

Even then, you still may lose your toenail.

The podiatrist will likely drill a hole in your nail to have the blood drain out. And although you may have heard that this procedure can be done on your own by using a drill, it is definitely not recommended. Doing so will put you at extreme risk for infection and injury.

In the meantime, treatments for the blood beneath your nail include finding better fitting shoes, wearing protective boots while at work and avoiding certain environments that put your feet at risk. You may also consider temporarily stopping whatever activities you are doing that put undue stress and strain on your toes.

Bear in mind that jogging, running, beginning a new workout and even buying a new pair of shoes can up your chances for developing a hematoma beneath the nail. As soon as you notice a pool of blood developing, see your podiatrist to correct the issue.

 

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Black Spot Under Toenail? Be Sure to Get It Checked Out

To close, whether it be a tiny black spot under fingernail or a large black spot beneath your toenail, you’ll want to get any changes you notice in your body checked out by a healthcare professional, immediately. Remember, it is very important to keep your nails healthy. A black spot beneath a toenail can have multiple different meanings. This can include melanoma, hematoma and fungus. The only way you’ll know the reason for your black spot on your toenail is by having it checked out by a professional.

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