Black Toenails

Looking down and seeing that one or more of your toenails has turned black can certainly be alarming. However, here at Great Neck Family Foot Care, this is a condition we’ve seen many patients deal with before. While many different causes can lead to black toenails (subungual hematomas), you can trust that our team will be able to help you come up with a beneficial plan for treatment.

Causes Of Black Toenails

In almost all the cases that we see, black toenails are caused by bruising and bleeding that takes place under the nail. Trauma is the most likely culprit for this cause. Running with ill-fitting shoes, the toe getting crushed, and stubbing the toe are all reasons your toenail may start turning black. However, there are situations where black toenails can point to something a bit more serious. In addition to bruising and bleeding, other causes of black toenails can include:

  • Underlying medical conditions.
  • Melanoma.
  • Fungal infections.

When To Visit Our Podiatrist

Sometimes, cases of black toenails tend to heal themselves on their own. However, it’s important not to let an issue like this linger on its own for too long. Below are a few examples as to when you should make an appointment with our podiatrist regarding your toenail:

  • You are unaware of why the black toenail has developed.
  • It has been a few weeks yet the toenail has not begun to heal.
  • You live with underlying medical conditions that can affect your foot health, such as diabetes.


What goes into treatment for black toenails will directly depend on what is causing them. For fungal infections, our podiatrist may prescribe topical cream or pills that will kill the infection. Laser treatment might also be the route to take, depending on your situation. For toenail issues caused by bruising and bleeding that refuses to heal on its own, our podiatrist may drill a small hole in the nail to release pressure and let the blood drain out. If issues are caused by an underlying condition, we may refer you to another specialist who can better help with the case.  

Schedule An Appointment

Even if you think your black toenails are no cause for concern, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to ensure your feet remain taken care of.