Athletes and other sport persons will often encounter a problem with their toenails turning black. Black toenails occur because of a direct impact to the nail, for instance if the toe constantly rubs against the shoe during walking or running. The blackness is essentially blood and bruising under the toenail. Sometimes, the bruise can lead to a fungal nail infection. If you are a diabetic, any change in the color of your toenail should be evaluated immediately. You may feel soreness under the toenail, and this could be due to an increased pressure caused by bleeding under the toe nail. Sometimes this sore toe nail can become infected.
Treatment may include trimming the loose nail back and often it is necessary to release some of the blood by boring through the nail with a sterilized needle. If the skin under the nail is ulcerated, a topical antibiotic ointment should be applied. Patients with diabetes should not treat this condition themselves and should contact a podiatrist immediately.
Specialised consultation and care for black toe nails at Temple Clinic in Ealing, West London