- We focus on what has worked for 10,000+ patients & medical research.
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Toenail Pain [Toenail Fungus, Ingrown Toenails, Discolored Toenails]
Black Spot Under The Toenail[Causes, Home Remedies & Best Treatment]
A black spot under the toenail is usually caused by one of four common problems: #1)Jogger’s Toe, #2)Melanoma, #3)Bacterial Infection, or #4)Toenail Fungus.
Black Spot on My Toenail Infographic:
- This infographic goes over the basics of having a small black spot on the big toenail.
Black Spot Under the Toenail Pictures:
The following gallery shows the most common causes of black spots under the toenail pictures.
- A black spot underneath the toenail can show itself in many ways:
The most common is a red spot that develops over time due to an injury.
- This toenail injury can be called a subungual hematoma.
- A subungual hematoma is usually caused by repetitive rubbing or irritation.
- A black toenail eventually develops as the blood eventually turns dry over a few hours or a day or 2.
- The dry blood develops between the toenail and the skin underneath the nail. The buildup of dry blood creates a blood blister pocket that prevents the toenail from attaching to the skin.
- It is also possible for black toenail fungus to develop once the toenail starts to detach.
- Toenail fungus usually develops before the black toenail. We usually see the toenail become thick, then it gradually rubs against the socks and shoes and detaches from the underlying skin.
- If you are toenail is detached and following off, click this guide to see what to do!
Black Spot Under The Toenail Causes:
There are four common causes that I have seen of a black spot under the big toenail. Here they are listened in order from most common to least common:
Jogger’s toe is essentially just an “overuse toe.”
- The trick with this one is it sneaks up on people without any pain!
- Be aware that you can still have bleeding underneath your toenail, and it doesn’t have to be extremely painful.
- For example, I just saw a woman who had a scary black toenail without any cause.
- But the more I talked to her. I realized she bought new shoes and started Zumba classes.
- She was exercising more, had small shoes, and was not suffering from any pain!
- Sometimes no pain.
- Small shoes.
- New shoes.
- New exercise regimen.
- Heavy running or work.
- Traumatic injury.
- Dropping something on your foot.
- It will grow out over time.
- It will not get bigger over time.
Subungual melanoma is a toenail cancer that is a result of a mole!
- These can appear underneath your toenail or around the toenail.
- If the black streak extends into the skin, there may be cause for concern.
- If the line extends into the skin, this is called a Hutchinson’s sign.
- Subungual melanomas are sporadic, and the only way to know for sure is to get a biopsy.
- In our experience, it is scarce to develop toenail cancer, but it is possible.
- These can be dangerous, so if they are getting bigger or growing into the skin- see a podiatrist or foot doctor immediately!
- No Pain or can be excruciating.
- It is getting bigger.
- There is bleeding.
- It can extend into the skin.
- There is no trauma or rubbing associated with it.
- It has been there a long time, or it can develop very quickly.
- No cause for its appearance.
- It may be growing into the tissue.
- See our “Is it dangerous guide?“
A pseudomonas bacteria infection is different than toenail fungus- this is a bacterial infection.
- A bacterial infection means it comes quick and strong, then gets cured for good once you see a podiatrist.
- A pseudomonas bacterial infection goes against toenail fungus, which is very slow and resistant.
- Pseudomonas is a bacteria that loves oxygenated moist environments like wet mud and pond water.
- If you have been around any of these recently and you start getting greenish-black toenails, it may be this!
- You should see your podiatrist or foot doctor for some antibiotics!
- Its sweet-smelling grape-like odor can also confirm it.
- No Pain.
- Appears quickly.
- Sweet, grape-like odor.
- History of swimming in pools or ponds.
4) Poor-fitting shoes:
- Poor-fitting (tight or loose shoes) is probably the most common cause of bleeding or black spot underneath the toenails that we see.
- It is not just that the shoes are too small or too tight, but your foot could be rubbing against the sides or the front of the shoe.
- It is common to see someone have too loose or poorly fitting shoes, and their foot slides against the side or front.
- We very commonly see people with very wide shoes. Their foot then twists out against the side of the shoe, and the fifth toe is rubbing and developing a baby toe black toenail.
- It is also widespread to see the big toenail rub against the front of the shoe if the big toe is the longest.
- If the second toe is the longest, it is also prevalent to see the second develop a black toenail.
- In some people, a hammertoe or bunion can develop, and this could cause the inside of the big toe to rub against the second toe.
- We have developed a podiatrist recommended shoe guide that may help.
- The shoe is either too big or too small.
- You can feel your footloose in the shoe.
- The shoe can feel too tight and pinch your toes.
- It feels like your foot flattens out with each step.
- Your foot hurts towards the end of the day and gets very sore.
5)Specific medical conditions:
- It is also possible that specific medical conditions could cause your toenail to turn black.
- In some of our older patients, it is possible that blood flow problems can result in less blood flow to the toenails.
- Peripheral arterial disease leading to black gangrene is common in people who smoke.
Other conditions to look out for are:
- Kidney problems.
- Heart disease and congestive heart failure.
It is always a good idea to see your podiatrist if you are developing a worrisome black toenail, as it could be something more than a fungus or an injury.
It is always possible that he could be developing a subungual melanoma or potentially even cutting off blood flow to your toenails.
If the above does not sound like your situation, consider toenail fungus as well.
- Toenail fungus is associated with 80% of all toenail problems.
- It usually manifests as thick yellow toenails, but there can be brown and black marks as well.
Toenail Fungus Is Associated With 80% Of All Toenail Problems.
Symptoms of Toenail Fungus:
- Thick yellow toenails.
- Crumbling debris underneath the toenails.
- Incurvated or possibly ingrown toenails.
- Discoloration or streaking.
- Thick Toenails.
- Crumbling toenails.
- Appear slowly and last forever.
- No Pain.
- Usually associated with older age, smoking and diabetes.
Other Causes of Toenail Discoloration:
Consider these other toenail color distortions:
- Red Spot Under The Toenail.
- White Patches On Toenails.
- Black Streaks Under The Nails
- Bruised Toenails
Toenail Fungus (Onychomycosis) Treatment & Cure Infographic:
Toenail Fungus Home Treatment:
- These are our favorite products to treat toenail fungus at home.
- It is difficult to properly diagnose any health problem such as toenail fungus with 100% certainty. So see your podiatrist and make sure you are not missing anything!
- Also, many of these products are considered beauty products more so than health products. Just be aware that they are not always FDA evaluated or approved in any way.
How to fix toenail fungus:
- There are many different types of toenail damage.
- In our experience, about easily 50% or more is related to toenail fungus.
- The key to toenail fungus is to trim it as much as possible and file that nail down vertically and length-wise.
- If you can do that, you have to make sure you can kill fungus the rest of the way with creams and topical medication.
- The best way to do that is to soak exfoliate the affected toenail skin. So, foot soaks can be a strong anti-fungus solution.
- At the same time, you have to apply anti-fungal medication such as these medications evaluated here or the toenail repair pens.
Recommended foot fungus products:
- It is also vital to fix your foot fungus.
- Athlete’s feet can be beneficial to remove from the foot because if left unchecked, they can quickly spread back to the toenails even if they are fixed.
- Even if you cure your toenail fungus, keep your toenails trimmed in healthy: your foot fungus can spread back into toenails.
- So make sure you treat your foot fungus, as well as your toenail fungus.
Best Toenail Fungus Clippers & Files:
- You have to be careful using at home, and definitely be safe and don’t use these if you have dangerous health conditions.
- It is important to see a podiatrist for foot evaluation and care if you have continued health care issues or problems with your feet.
- These are some great value heavy-duty clippers and sets.
- The key is to cut straight across and file the nail down from the top to keep it from impinging in the corners.
- It is also important to make sure all dead, dry skin is removed surrounding the foot.
- This is where you should really see your podiatrist if you have any concerns or are worried about cutting or hurting yourself.
- This is something covered, so don’t take chances with your health!
Best Toenail Fungus Polish and Remover:
- There is some great toenail fungus polish options and polish removal options.
- There are no acetone-based toenail polish removers, they don’t dry as quickly, but they are less like a dehydrator toenail.
- This also applies to your fingernails and hands.
- The benefits of using these non-toxic toenail polishes are that they are filled with non-fungal options such as tea tree oil, preventing toenail fungus.
- These can also work well for the fingernails.
- So great combo is to use one of these healthier toenail paint options, as well as a non-acetone-based toenail polish remover.
Best Shoes For Toenail Injuries:
- The key to prevent toenail ripping and lifting is to have good supportive shoes.
- If you have a good supportive shoe that keeps pressure off your toes in your toenails, there will be no lifting and cracking to allow bacteria and fungus to get in.
- This almost seems counter-intuitive, but when people make a switch to perfect supportive shoes that fit properly, their toenail problems almost always get better over the next few months or a year.
- Your current nail is already likely destroyed, especially with joggers toe, but let the new nail growing healthy without new damage.
- Click the following link for our most recommended shoes. Try to focus on shoes with mesh and room around the big toe and also the smaller toes.
Best Antifungal Moisture Wicking Socks:
- These are some great options for moisture-wicking sucks.
- The more you can wick moisture from your foot, the less chance there is that toenail fungus, and athlete’s foot can survive.
- We tried to focus on budget value stocks that are not too expensive.
- Sure there are better stocks out there, but these are great socks for a great price for most people.
- If you have diabetes, focus on getting yourself some diabetic socks.
Best woman’s antifungal socks:
Best men’s antifungal socks:
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is a Black Spot Under the Toenail Cancer?
- In very rare cases a black toenail can mean that subungual melanoma cancer is developing.
- The only 100% way to know for sure is to get a biopsy by visiting your doctor or podiatrist.
What is a black line under the toenail:
A black line on toenail fungus is called melanonychia.
This means that you have brown or black lines on your toenails.
A black line on a toenail fungus might be melanoma, but this is usually unlikely.
If the black line extends into your skin, this is called a Hutchinson’s sign. A Hutchinson’s sign is over 3mm thick and is much more likely to signal cancer or melanoma.
A subungual melanoma is extremely rare.
Personally in our clinic we have seen tens of thousands of black toenails and black lines on toenails, with a rarely being melanoma.
But there are cases where we do perform biopsies if the toenail does appear suspicious.
It is extremely important to always check with your podiatrist and get a biopsy if you are worried about a melanoma.
There is no 100% foolproof method to ensure that there is no melanoma underneath her toenail.
Black toenail fungus or melanoma?
A subungual melanoma can develop underneath the toenail.
This is extremely rare and accounts for only about 1-2% of all diagnosed melanomas and the human body.
Of the subungual melanomas 60% are found in the fingernails and about 40% are found as a black toenail fungus or melanoma type question.
Subungual melanomas are more common in older individuals 60 years or older and who have a history of cancerous skin growths.
A subungual melanoma or a toenail melanoma is usually very wide over 3 mm.
It is usually associated with a nodule and possible bleeding that extends into the acute call. This is called a Hutchinson sign.
Usually only one toenail is infected. It is very rare for there to be multiple subungual melanomas.
Important warning: It is extremely important to go see your podiatrist or your oncologist to perform a biopsy.
Subungual melanoma if not detected can spread through the rest of your body. Go see her podiatrist is a great start to diagnose whether he had a black toenail fungus or melanoma.
I have a black spot on my toenail with no pain?
Most black spots underneath the toenail do not show any signs of pain.
This is usually because it happens from a lot of small rubbing rather than one big injury.
We routinely see black spots on toenails develop in our patients after thousands and thousands of steps rather than dropping something big on your toenail.
Why do I have a black spot on my toenail?
If you are wondering why you have a black spot under your toenail, is usually due to dry blood developing under the toenail.
What usually happens is that people with high activity such as runners or people who stand on their feet all day, the toenail starts to rip away from the skin underneath it.
Small blood vessels underneath this can rip away and this creates first a bleeding red spot the very quickly turns black.
This means that dried blood is developing between the skin and the toenail.
This is most common in the big toenail or the second toenail. It can also happen in the fifth toenail.
How do I get rid of the black spot on my toenail?
The most important thing is to find out why it is happening.
Frequently we see that it is a biomechanical injury such as too much pressure on to the big toenail the second toenail or the fifth toenail.
This can be due to shoes, it can be due to body weight, it can be due to standing or walking too much.
There is usually an underlying biomechanical change such as tightness through the calf or the arch of the foot.
It is important to see a podiatrist to have a walking or running analysis performed to see why this is happening.
What does a tiny black spot under the toenail mean?
A tiny black spot under the toenail is usually not cancer.
It is usually the rupture of a small blood vessel called the capillary.
This can be called at petechiae. This means that it is a rupture of small blood vessel that creates blood flow underneath the toenail.
If you are worried about cancer or subungual melanoma, always check with your podiatrist and have biopsy performed.
What does a black spot at the base of the toenail mean?
A black spot at the base of the toenail usually means that the toenail got jammed back into the stem cells or the root where it started.
This is most common with the big toenail especially when it is not trimmed for a long time.
It is also common with stubbing your big toenail and having a jam backward into the root of the toe.
This can cause pain and tenderness in the big toe site.
This can also happen with stubbing her fifth toe or your second toe if you are second toe is the longest toe.
White you have a black spot on my baby toenail?
The most common cause of a black spot on the baby toenail is an injury or chronic rubbing to her fifth toenail.
This causes gradual blood buildup underneath her fifth toenail.
We frequently see this in people that have a titer leg hamstring or calf muscle to that leg.
This forces that foot to turn outward and the fifth toe to rub out against the side of the shoe.
This is a condition referred to as overpronation.
What does a black spot in the corner of my toenail mean?
Black spot in the corner of the toenail is usually the start of an ingrown toenail.
We see this when the sharp edge of a big toenail on the inside or outside of the toe starts to cut the skin.
This could cause a lot of pain or it could even be painless.
We recommend seeing a podiatrist to get your ingrown toenail taken care of.
Toenail Pain [Toenail Fungus, Ingrown Toenails, Discolored Toenails]