When you have a black toenail, you may notice a discolouration, which can vary from dark brown to deep black. Have you noticed any changes in its tone lately? You may also notice pain, swelling or tenderness in the affected area. In some cases, the black toenail may even become detached and fall off.
Some people are more at risk of getting a black toenail, such as those who play sports that involve sudden movements with the lower limbs, like running, football or basketball.
You are also more likely to suffer from this problem if you wear shoes that are too tight in the toe area; or if you have injuries or deformities in your toenails or toes.
Whatever the case, let us analyse the causes of this problem and possible solutions.
A black toenail, also known as a subungual haematoma, can be caused by a number of factors, including the following:
- Trauma. It is common for a black toenail to arise as a result of a blow or injury, as this causes the blood vessels under the nail to rupture. It is the accumulation of blood that leads to the haematoma we see.
- Unsuitable footwear. Wearing tight shoes, especially at the toe, results in increased pressure on the nail, causing the blood vessels underneath to rupture. It is important to check shape and size to make sure you choose the best shoes to preserve the health of your feet.
- Sports activities. Sport is healthy, although it should be noted that football, basketball, tennis or running can cause a black toenail due to repeated friction or shock to the area.
- Fungal infection. The last cause has to do with fungus, which, if caused by an infection, can cause the nail to turn black and thick.
In general, a black toenail can be caused by a variety of factors. While in most cases it is not serious, sometimes medical treatment may be necessary to avoid complications. In particular, it is advisable to see a doctor or podiatrist if the black toenail causes severe pain, if it becomes inflamed or bleeds, or if any other worrying symptoms are noticed.
Preventing a black toenail will depend on the underlying cause. For example, a common sense starting point is to choose the right footwear, a type of shoe that is wide and deep enough for the toes to move freely and with enough cushioning, as this can reduce pressure on the foot.
Just as important as the shoes are the socks. They should absorb moisture well and not fit too tightly. It is best to choose natural materials such as cotton or bamboo, as they allow the foot to breathe.
It is important to cut toenails straight across and not too short. Toenails should not be too short or too long. It is also essential to ensure good hygiene and to avoid the application of lacquers or nail polishes with chemical ingredients.
Another point to bear in mind is the use of rubber sandals in public showers and baths, as this minimises the risk of fungi and viruses.
When practising sport, it is advisable to take breaks, especially when the activities involve sudden movements. Doing so not only helps to rest the feet, but can also prevent injuries.
Any measures that are effective in avoiding trauma and pressure on the toes will be beneficial in preventing black toenail problems. It is also important to pay attention to any pain or discomfort in the feet and see a doctor or podiatrist if necessary.
There are no specific natural treatments to cure a black toenail. However, there are some natural remedies that can help relieve symptoms and prevent infection.
When you notice that the toenail has changed colour, it is a good idea to apply a cold compress to the black nail to reduce inflammation and soothe. When you get home, there is nothing like a warm salt water bath to reduce inflammation and relieve pain, which also prevents infection.
During the time it takes for the black toenail to recover its original appearance, it is recommended to apply tea tree oil every night, as it has antifungal and antibacterial properties. A cheaper and equally effective alternative is garlic, which is known to have antimicrobial properties. You can apply it directly or take it in supplement form.
In fact, some supplements are key for nails to grow strong and stay healthy. This is the case with G7Beauty, which strengthens nails as well as hair and skin. The organic silica in its formula preserves their health and beauty, while boosting their renewal. By including this supplement in a balanced diet, you will notice that your nails grow faster and break less. Would you like to try its effects on your hands and feet?