Updated: Jul 30, 2020
Sandal season has launched! With warm weather’s return and Easter only a few weeks away, more and more people are exposing their toes to the daylight and beginning to think about how their feet look again. When your lower limbs are locked away in closed-toe shoes, you may not feel the need to keep your nails looking nice. Showing them off in Easter sandals, however, can inspire a little extra care. You may want to reconsider your next pedicure, though, if you discover you have black toenails.
There are many causes of black toenails, most of which aren’t dangerous, but all of which need to be carefully monitored. Typically your nails develop this darkened color through repeated trauma to the ends of the toes. Too tight shoes or even jogging long distances can stress the ends of the nails and damage the nail bed, resulting in bleeding under the hard tissue. This causes that dark color. Other more serious culprits include certain fungi and malignant melanoma. Fungal nail infections are unpleasant and tend to get worse the longer they go untreated. Malignant melanoma is rare, but potentially fatal, so it needs immediate care.
While some causes of black toenails can resolve on their own, you should have your feet examined to make sure the discoloration is a simple problem, not a complicated one requiring prompt treatment. Ignoring changes in your toes could allow a condition like melanoma to go undiagnosed and cause serious problems.
So this spring, when you go to show off your toes, make sure to have any discoloration carefully addressed before trying to cover up the problem with colorful polish. Contact Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC in Metairie, LA, for an appointment or more information about caring for your nails this season. You can reach our office by calling (504) 708-4810 or using the website contact form.