why is my toenail black

Why is my Toenail Black? The Reasons Behind Revealed

Nail health is important, and toenail health is particularly so. Not many people like to discuss it, but the color of your nails is a key indicator of how healthy they are, and you shouldn’t ignore it if you notice a black spot on toenail, a black line on toenail or blackness on your toenails. So, let’s answer the question, why is my toenail black?

To answer this and any other type of nail care and foot care information, check our collection of informative articles, read more here.

A black toenail is often the result of black toe nail fungus, which is a pretty common disease that affects many people. Other health problems can also cause you to develop a black toenail, including things like anemia, diabetes, skin disease, kidney problems, and heart disease. It’s important to talk to a doctor if you are concerned about your health.

In this article, we’re going to look at black toenail fungus in more detail, and talk about what to do if you have a toenail turning black. This will help you to deal if you have noticed a black spot under toenail , and let you know what action you should take.

Why Is My Toenails Black?

Why my toenail is black

Quite a few things can cause a toenail to turn black, or to darken in areas. One of the commonest is black toe nail fungus, which we are going to cover in more detail below – but be aware that there are other potential issues too.

If you’re asking why is my toenails black, you should book an appointment with your doctor. They will be able to determine whether the black toenail has been caused by fungal infections or if there are other underlying causes. This is very important, as some of the health conditions that cause black toenail problems can be serious.

Your doctor should be able to assess the condition of your black toenail and do some tests on your general health to determine what are the causes of black toenails, what has caused the discoloration and what kind of treatment is needed.

What Causes Black Toenails?

Some common causes include:

  • Chronic ingrown nails
  • Malignant melanoma
  • Damage (such as a bump) to the nail
  • Unsuitable footwear causing repeated nail trauma

If you are still wondering: why is my toenail turning black?; it’s important to see a health professional to get a proper diagnosis and find out what is causing the black toenail issue.

What Is Black Toenail Fungus?

Black toe nail fungus is a common infection that affects many adults, especially those with weakened immune systems, diabetes, and circulation problems. It can be extremely difficult to get rid of, but with prescribed medical treatments, you can sometimes tackle it.

Black toe nailfungus can spread from nail to nail, and may cover all of one foot, or affect both feet. It sometimes stays localized on a single nail, in which case you might have just one black toenail. It most commonly infects the big toe, but can be seen on other toes too.

This kind of fungal infection tends to result from moist, warm conditions, so be careful about the kind of footwear you choose. Wearing breathable shoes and spending some time barefoot may help to mitigate the problem. Toenail injuries may also increase your risk of encountering the fungus.

Certain diseases, like diabetes, may make you more vulnerable to black toe nail fungus too, so be aware of this and take extra precautions if you are at risk. It’s thought that almost half of adults over 70 might suffer from black toenail fungus.


What Are The Symptoms Of Black Toe Nail Fungus?

why is my toenail black

There are quite a lot of symptoms of black toenail fungus, and most of them are unpleasant. You will probably notice things like:

  • Thickening of the nail
  • Nail toughness
  • A bad smell
  • Discharge
  • Redness
  • Swelling

You may not see all of these symptoms, but if you have some of them, you might have black toe nail fungus. You should therefore seek medical advice, and learn how to take care of your foot to maximize your chances of recovery.

Black Toenails and Underlying Medical Health Concerns

Black toenails can be a cause for concern, and understanding their potential underlying medical condition is crucial for proper health assessment. While trauma to the toenail, like dropping an object on it or intense physical activity, is the most common cause of black toenails, other health issues could also be linked.

For instance, a black or darkened toenail can be an early sign of melanoma, a serious type of skin cancer. While rare, it’s essential to seek medical advice if the nail discoloration doesn’t improve or is accompanied by other unusual symptoms related to skin cancer.

As for kidney disease, while it may cause a range of symptoms, black toenails or discolored toenails aren’t directly associated with it. However, vascular problems related to blood vessels can result in black or purple discolorations in toes due to poor circulation or blood clotting.

A weak immune system, on the other hand, might make someone more susceptible to fungal infections, which can cause toenails to darken.

Lastly, adult foot health is a broad domain; while black toenails can be a part of the spectrum of foot-related issues, they need to be evaluated in the context of other symptoms and potential traumas to ensure an accurate diagnosis.

How To Get Rid Of Black Toenails

The first thing you must do if you have black under toenail is to talk to your doctor, but once you have a diagnosis, you can begin addressing it. 

In almost all cases, you will need medication that can only be prescribed by a doctor to get rid of black toenail fungus. Read this article to know if toenail fungus is dying. However, proper foot care is an important supplement to any medical treatment. Regularly cleaning your feet and making sure they stay dry is key.

It’s also important to cut your toenails, and for this, you’ll need some good toenail clippers. You should cut your nails straight across, not rounding them off, for the best results. With that in mind, it’s well worth checking out what the best toe nail clippers are.

You might also want to check out the Swissklip Heavy Duty reviews or the Swissklip Nail Clipper reviews. Men’s nail length and toenail length can make a big difference to how comfortable your nails are if you’ve got a black toenail caused by a fungal infection.

Keeping your nails short is a good start, but you should also make efforts to clean them regularly. Soaking your foot in cold water for 20 minutes, drying it thoroughly, and then applying a prescribed cream are important steps to follow. You should not try to pull off a black toenail.

Getting rid of black toenail infections can be extremely difficult, because the fungus usually lives inside the keratin in your nails – which makes it hard for medication to affect it. You’ll often need to undergo a year of treatment or even more if you’re going to get rid of it, and a lot of people find it challenging to keep up with the treatment for this long.

Diabetic Black Toenails

Black toenails can be a sign of various underlying medical conditions, and one of those conditions could be diabetes. Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease that affects how the body uses blood sugar (glucose) for energy. In this article, we will discuss black toenails caused by diabetes, including what they are, what causes them, their symptoms, and how they can be treated.

What are black toenails caused by diabetes?

Black toenails caused by diabetes are a common condition characterized by discoloration of the toenails, which turn black or dark brown. This toenail discoloration is usually a sign of bleeding underneath the toenail. 

People with diabetes are more prone to black toenails because of a condition called diabetic neuropathy, which damages the nerves that supply blood to the feet. This nerve damage can make the skin and nails on the feet more susceptible to injuries, infections, and other foot problems, including diabetes black toenails.

What causes Black Toenails in diabetes?

Black toenails caused by diabetes can be caused by several factors. One of the main factors is diabetic neuropathy, which can damage the nerves that supply blood to the feet, leading to poor circulation in the feet. 

This poor circulation can cause toenail injuries, such as stubbing, dropping heavy objects on the toes, or wearing tight shoes. These injuries can cause the blood vessels under the toenail to rupture, resulting in the formation of a black toenail.

Another common cause of black toenails in people with diabetes is a fungal infection. Fungal infections are more common in people with diabetes because of the weakened immune system and poor circulation. 

When the fungal infection affects the toenail, it can cause discoloration, thickening, and even separation of the nail from the nail bed.

Symptoms of Black Toenails caused by Diabetes

The main symptom of black toenails caused by diabetes is the discoloration of the nail bed, which can vary in color from black to dark brown. 

The toenail may also be painful, tender, or swollen, and it may be difficult to wear shoes or walk without discomfort. In some cases, the black toenail can also emit a foul smell.


Treatment of black toenails caused by diabetes

The treatment of black toenails caused by diabetes will depend on the underlying cause. If the black toenail is caused by a fungal infection, it can be treated with antifungal medications, either in the form of topical creams or oral medications. 

For a bacterial infection, antibiotics may be prescribed. If the black toenail is caused by an injury, it is essential to clean the wound and keep it covered to avoid further infections.

Prevention is also critical in managing black toenails caused by diabetes. People with diabetes should always wear comfortable shoes that fit well, avoid wearing high heels or tight shoes, and trim their toenails regularly. 

It is also important to inspect the feet daily for any signs of injury, discoloration, or swelling, and seek medical attention immediately if any problems are found.



Black toenails can be a sign of several underlying medical conditions, caused by diabetes . The most common cause of black toenails in people with diabetes is diabetic neuropathy, which can damage the nerves that supply blood to the feet, leading to poor circulation and foot injuries. 

If you’ve got a black toenail, don’t ignore it and let it get worse. Early detection, treatment, and prevention of black toenails are crucial in managing this condition and preventing further complications. 

Book an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible so they can check for fungal infections and other underlying health issues, and prescribe some appropriate treatments to help you get better.