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Toenails are naturally white in color. Sometimes discolorations can occur from nail polish, nutritional deficiencies, infection, or trauma. Black toenails are attributed to a variety of causes ...
The cause of a black toenail may be benign or quite serious. It is important for a person who develops a black toenail to understand some of the potential causes. When in doubt, it is a good idea ...
Black Toenail: Common Causes. If your toenail turns black, it’s most likely a bruise under the nail, technically called a subungual hematoma. You can get it from stubbing a toe or from footwear ...
Black toenails are caused by trauma to the nail. Common causes of toenails turning black include ill-fitting shoes, fungus, dropping an object on the toe and cutting the nail too short. Impact to the toenail causes bleeding underneath the nail's surface. Part or all of the toenail may turn black.
There are several other causes of toenails turning black, which include systemic chronic health problems, chronic ingrown toenails, and fungal infections.There is also a rare more serious cause of black discoloration of a toenails resulting from cancer known as malignant melanoma.
Black Toenail Causes. There are many reasons why a toenail can turn a black color, one of the most common ones being the physical injury or trauma to the respective toenail. It is important to understand that the characteristic black color is caused by the collection of blood under the nail bed.
A nail disease or onychosis is a disease or deformity of the nail. Although the nail is a structure produced by the skin and is a skin appendage, nail diseases have a distinct classification as they have their own signs and symptoms which may relate to other medical conditions. Some nail conditions that show signs of infection or inflammation may require medical assistance.
Athlete's foot, known medically as tinea pedis, is a common skin infection of the feet caused by fungus. Signs and symptoms often include itching, scaling, cracking and redness. In rare cases the skin may blister. Athlete's foot fungus may infect any part of the foot, but most often grows between the toes. The next most common area is the bottom of the foot. The same fungus may also affect the nails or the hands. It is a member of the group of diseases known as tinea. Athlete's foot is caused by a number of different fungi, including species of Trichophyton, Epidermophyton, and Microsporum. The condition is typically acquired by coming into contact with infected skin, or fungus in the environment. Common places where the fungi can survive are around swimming pools and in locker rooms. They may also be spread from other animals. Usually diagnosis is made based on signs and symptoms; however, it can be confirmed either by culture or seeing hyphae using a microscope. Some methods of prevention include avoiding walking barefoot in public showers, keeping the toenails short, wearing big enough shoes, and changing socks daily. When infected, the feet should be kept dry and clean and wearing sandals may help. Treatment can be either with antifungal medication applied to the skin such as clotrimazole or for persistent infections antifungal medication that are taken by mouth such as terbinafine. The use of the cream is typically recommended for four weeks. Athlete's foot was first medically described in 1908. Globally, athlete's foot affects about 15% of the population. Males are more often affected than females. It occurs most frequently in older children or younger adults. Historically it is believed to have been a rare condition, that became more frequent in the 1900s due to the greater use of shoes, health clubs, war, and travel.
Onychomycosis, also known as tinea unguium, is a fungal infection of the nail. Symptoms may include white or yellow nail discoloration, thickening of the nail, and separation of the nail from the nail bed. Toenails or fingernails may be affected, but it is more common for toenails to be affected. Complications may include cellulitis of the lower leg. A number of different types of fungus can cause onychomycosis including dermatophytes and Fusarium. Risk factors include athlete's foot, other nail diseases, exposure to someone with the condition, peripheral vascular disease, and poor immune function. The diagnosis is generally suspected based on the appearance and confirmed by laboratory testing. Onychomycosis does not necessarily require treatment. The antifungal medication, terbinafine, taken by mouth appears to be the most effective but is associated with liver problems. Trimming the affected nails when on treatment also appears useful. There is a ciclopirox-containing nail polish, but it does not work as well. The condition returns in up to half of cases following treatment. Not using old shoes after treatment may decrease the risk of recurrence. It occurs in about 10 percent of the adult population. Older people are more frequently affected. Males are affected more often than females. Onychomycosis represents about half of nail disease. It was first determined to be the result of a fungal infection in 1853 by Georg Meissner.