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Phone: 916-961-3434
McDowell Podiatry
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What’s Behind Black Toenails?

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Black toenailAlthough black nail polish might be a popular look this time of year, if your toenails are black without anything painted on them, well, trouble may be brewing.

This condition most often occurs as a result of trauma or repetitive stress. For instance, dropping a 20-pound pumpkin on your toe, or jamming your toes against the front of your shoes while running through leaves.

When nails turn black, the discoloration is actually due to bruising or bleeding underneath the nail that is showing through. The situation may be minor and the problem could very well resolve itself on its own. However, if blood continues to pool beneath the nail, it can cause pressure to build, sometimes so much so that the nail is lifted up, becomes painful, and even emits an odor.

Making sure your shoes fit and your feet are protected when lifting large objects can help to prevent the problem, but if you do notice your toenails turning black, it’s wise to pay a visit to Dr. Brian McDowell. We can drain the blood to relieve pain and pressure or remove the damaged nail and clean the nail bed. You may also need medication to avoid infection. In addition, assessment of your black toenail is important since there is a small chance it could be a sign of melanoma, in which case it is vital to receive treatment as soon as possible.

So, if you have black toenails, don’t just figure you’re ready for the Halloween season. Make sure to schedule an appointment at McDowell Podiatry Group so we can rule out any dangers and address your problem right away. You can reach our Carmichael, CA office at (916) 961-3434.
Dr. Brian McDowell
Dr. Brian McDowell, board-certified podiatrist, provides cutting-edge foot and ankle care in Carmichael, CA.
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