Tuesday, 23 April 2024 00:00

Causes of Black Toenail

After a long walk or a vigorous run, it is not uncommon to notice a toenail that has turned black, blue, or gray, often accompanied by swelling underneath the nail. This phenomenon, known as a black toenail, is typically caused by bleeding beneath the nail, medically termed a subungual hematoma. The most common cause of black toenail is trauma, such as stubbing your toe or dropping something heavy on it. It is also common among runners as the result of repetitive pressure as the toe hits the front of the shoe. A podiatrist can offer treatment options to alleviate discomfort from black toenail and aid in the healing process. For cases where the nail is significantly raised and painful, a procedure called trephination may be recommended, which involves creating a small hole in the nail to relieve pressure and facilitate drainage. Preventing black toenails involves ensuring proper footwear and sock fit, especially during physical activity. Shoes should allow for sufficient toe room to accommodate swelling, while proper lacing techniques can minimize toe trauma. If you have developed a black toenail that is causing pain, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist for an exam and the appropriate treatment measures.

Toe pain can disrupt your daily activities. If you have any concerns, contact one of our doctors of Andrea Hyperbaric Wound Care & Health Center. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

What Causes Toe Pain?

Most severe toe pain is caused due to a sports injury, trauma from dropping something heavy on the toe, or bumping into something rigid. Other problems can develop over time for various reasons.

Toe pain can be caused by one or more ailments. The most common include:

  • Trauma
  • Sports injury
  • Wearing shoes that are too tight
  • Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Corns and calluses
  • Hammertoe
  • Bunions
  • Blisters
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Sprains
  • Fractures (broken bones)
  • Dislocations

When to See a Podiatrist

  • Severe pain
  • Persistent pain that lasts more than a week
  • Signs of infection
  • Continued swelling
  • Pain that prevents walking


In many cases the cause of toe pain is obvious, but in others, a podiatrist may want to use more advanced methods to determine the problem. These can range from simple visual inspections and sensation tests to X-rays and MRI scans. Prior medical history, family medical history, and any recent physical traumatic events will all be taken into consideration for a proper diagnosis.


Treatments for toe pain and injuries vary and may include shoe inserts, padding, taping, medicines, injections, and in some cases, surgery. If you believe that you have broken a toe, please see a podiatrist as soon as possible.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact our office located in Astoria, NY . We offer the newest diagnostic tools and technology to treat your foot and ankle needs.

Read more about Toe Pain

Connect With Us

scroll to top