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Black Toenails

Black toenails can be caused by several different conditions. If you have injured your toenail and it turns black underneath, this is probably a collection of blood under the nail. In most cases, this will not cause any problems, but may need to be drained in order to decrease pain. If the black is occurring in more than 25% of the nail, you need to be seen by a foot and ankle specialist. The nail may need to be removed in order to make sure the bone underneath did not break and puncture through the nail bed.

Black toenails can also be caused by certain fungus infections that live beneath and on the nail itself. Medications, most commonly given to HIV positive individuals, can also cause the toenail to become black and discolored. In rare instances, certain skin cancers, such as malignant melanoma, can cause a blackened area or band to appear under the nail. While this condition is rare, if you notice a black color change of you nail you should have it evaluated by a foot and ankle specialist.

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