Why is Toenail Fungus Black?

Toenails are usually black in color. Sometimes the color of the toenail changes just because of excessive usage of chemically-rich nail polish or aging. However, many people get black colored toenail because of infection, nutritional deficiencies or trauma. Sometimes, a discolored toenail represents an underlying cause that is hard to diagnose. In most cases, toenail fungus makes the nail brittle, patchy, rough, and black.

It is possible that the melanoma in the toenail is mistaken for the trauma-induced toenail, however, if it is not treated on time, it can spread to the other parts of the body. If you get your toenail fungus diagnosed at an early stage, you can treat it at home by yourself. However, severe cases might require an anti-fungal prescription from a well-experienced doctor. The underlying health condition has to be treated on time to avoid getting the same fungal infection again in the future.

Causes of Black Toenail Fungus:

As discussed above, there are many causes of having a black toenail. Of all the causes, toenail fungus is the most common cause. Do you remember your toenail becoming yellow from white? If that’s the case, the fungus is causing the nail to become discolored. The debris can build up near the nail cuticles and make the nail look darker. Let me explain in simple words. When you don’t clean your nails for long and they grow out, do you see dust collected in them? Doesn’t it look black? In the same way, when the fungal infection spreads in the toenails, it causes them to crack and become patchy, which allows the dust and sweat to get collected in the infected area. This dirt builds up and infects the nail even more. As a result, the toenail discolors from being white to yellow, then brown and becoming black in extreme cases.

Other causes:

If you have toenail fungus and the following happens, the toenails can turn black.

  1. A bruise under the nail
  2. Stubbing your toe from a footwear
  3. Blood clot
  4. Chronic ingrown nail
  5. Malnutrition
  6. Debris

Any of these reasons could stimulate the toenail to become black or darker in color.


There is nothing darker than the color black. So if your toenail has turned black, it is high time! You must go to your doctor to get it checked. Black toenail fungus, if left untreated, can spread throughout your feet and other parts of your body. If your toenail grows very slow, which is obvious in case of fungal infection, the black nail might become painful. It will take months for it to grow out. If the nail has become brittle or patchy, there are chances that the toenail fungus might become very painful for you. In some cases, other fingers also get affected by the fungal infection. If that happens, it is better to stop the home remedies and take an over the counter anti-fungal medicine or get it prescribed from the best doctor.

Whose toenails can become black when they have toenail fungus?

If you have toenail fungus, it is very important to take medicines on time. Also, prevention is better than cure. You must make sure that you are doing all the home remedies and massaging your feet from time to time. If you wear packed/closed shoes every day and they’re not clean, chances are that debris will be collected in your nails. If you don’t take care, you can have a dark black toenail! Avoiding medicines and not cleaning nails can also induce the nails to become discolored.


Depending on the severity of the black toenail fungus, you should first consult your doctor and do the following:

  1. Clean your toenails every day.
  2. Let an expert make a hole in your toenail and let the infected blood flow out.
  3. Treat the blood clot.
  4. Let your feet rest and be dry.
  5. Change your footwear. Wear open and comfortable footwear. Allow your feet to breathe.
  6. Use over-the-counter creams and ointments to treat the fungus.
  7. Do not apply nail polish to cover the discoloration. It might worsen the case.
  8. Wait for the nail to grow out.
  9. Trim your toenail regularly with a clean and neat nail clipper.
  10. Get an anti-fungal medicine prescribed from your doctor.
  11. Always apply sunscreen on the surrounding area to prevent your toenails from additional problems.
  12. Get proper treatment and diagnose the underlying health conditions caused by the toenail fungus.

At any cost, stop the fungus from spreading in the other parts of your body. The discoloration is a symbol of a worsening situation. You must consult your doctor before it is too late. Many people think it can be treated at home itself, however, it is suggested that you at least let an expert diagnose the problem first and then take appropriate measures yourself. Of course, you can do home remedies, but if the toenail becomes black, there might be an additional problem.

You know they say, ‘A stitch in time, saves nine.’

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