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Open

Mon – Fri: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sat: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Sun: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Book Appointment

Sign Up for an Appointment

Our simple to use, online booking process makes it easy to book an appointment with a chiropodist for any of our services. No referral needed!
Book Appointment

Sign Up for an Appointment

Our simple to use, online booking process makes it easy to book an appointment with a chiropodist for any of our services. No referral needed!

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A Black Spot Under The Toenail: What Is It?

Under normal circumstances, our toenails are a glassy, somewhat opaque colour. The protective proteins of our toenails, called alpha-keratin, create this consistency. Together with the skin below it, healthy toenails should be pink. Sometimes, however, our toenails change colour. But why?

You may experience toenail discolouration from damage to the toenail itself or from damage to the skin below the nail bed. In both instances, a black spot may appear. It can be a black spot below the toenail, or your toenail itself may change colour.

This article teaches more about black spots under toenails, different kinds of toenail discolouration, and treatments. First, let’s explore the nail condition of a black toenail.

What’s a black toenail?

Black toenails are a type of nail condition characterized by damage to the skin below the nail. In most cases, a black toenail is a subungual hematoma, especially if you see a black spot. The black area you see is a bruise (a blood vessel breakage causing bleeding near the skin surface.)

However, your toenail may turn black for other reasons. We break down the causes below.

Should I be worried about a black toenail?

Black toenails have several causes, some more common than others.

Common causes

  • A subungual hematoma is the most common cause of a black spot under your toenail. Trauma, whether acute or chronic, causes a black spot under your toenail. Instances like running with ill-fitting footwear, stubbing a toe, or dropping an item on your toe are common culprits. Due to its length and weight-bearing role, your big toe is the most common toenail for a subungual hematoma. Your toenail may fall off entirely, or you may experience a small black spot. If the latter, you can trim off the black area as your nail grows out.
  • You may associate a fungal infection with discolouration of the toenail. Although usually a yellow-green, your toenail may also turn black.
  • In rare cases, ingrown toenails can be the culprit for a black toenail. An ingrown toenail causing a black toenail is usually related to a complication of a previous toenail treatment.

Rare and more severe causes

  • Malignant melanoma can cause a black toenail: Cancer forms in the cells of our skin that give our skin colour, which causes a black spot.
  • B12 deficiency: B12 keeps your nails strong and healthy. A lack of B12 may result in a blackish tint. 
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver disease
  • Linear melanonychia can cause black and brown lines that run either with your toenail or horizontally across your toenail.

If you have doubts about the black spot under your toenail, book an appointment with a chiropodist for the next steps and a diagnosis.

What kind of discolourations of a toenail are there?

In addition to black toenails, you may experience other discolouration. Click here to learn about the various shades and causes of discoloured toenails.

How can I treat a discoloured (including a black) toenail?

If you can connect the cause of a black toenail to a common cause—for instance, a stubbed toe—then at-home treatments are sufficient. However, if you haven’t had any trauma or damage to your nail, consult a medical professional for treatment options. Here are some ways you can treat a discoloured toenail:

Let it grow out

If your toenail isn’t damaged or at risk of falling off, the most effective action is to let the toenail grow out. Expect to wait between 6-9 months to allow your toenail to grow out thoroughly and to be able to trim the black area away.

Cover the toenail

If your toenail dies and falls off, you should cover any exposed parts of the nail bed for 7-10 days. Coat the area with a non-stick bandage and wait for the skin underneath to harden. Once the skin hardens, you can leave the nail and allow it to grow back or use an artificial nail to improve aesthetics.

Visit a chiropodist or foot doctor

If you have damage to your toenail from trauma and need guidance and treatment, visit a chiropodist. Our team of dedicated licensed chiropodists is committed to providing quality care and services for all your foot and ankle needs. They can diagnose, treat and help manage various foot conditions, from callus removal to ingrown toenails to bunions.

Over-the-counter creams and ointments

Ointments and creams are usually effective and can help treat fungal infections. You can also use a prescription antifungal treatment for severe cases of toenail infections.

Buy a new pair of shoes

If you have poorly-fitting shoes causing stress to your toenail, invest in proper footwear for your feet.

Your toenail solutions live here

All under one roof. Our team is trained to handle any and all your foot health concerns. Call us at 416-769-3338 or Book Your Assessment Today!

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Emily

Administrative Assistant

Emily is the newest addition to the Feet First family. She assists with the clinic’s accounting and finances, as well as all the behind-the-scenes work that keeps the clinic running smoothly. In addition to her accounting smarts, she brings sunshine and positivity to everyone at Feet First Clinic.

Erica Halpern

Marketing and Administrative Assistant (She/Her)

Part of our administrative support staff, Erica also works behind the scenes writing and editing content for our website and blog. She loves researching and writing educational content to help patients and anyone dealing with pain. When she’s not busy in the clinic, you’ll find her at her local gym, exploring underground music, hiking with friends, or cheering on her favourite sports teams (Go Jays!). She also loves huskies!

Sophie Rudahigan

Clinic Administrator (She/Her)
Sophie prides herself on providing top-tier customer service. She is here to ensure a smooth visit for all clients. In addition to overseeing the clinic’s administration and day-to-day operations, she maintains the cosmetic appearance of the store. She is the magic behind our elaborate display case designs and also ensures the clinic is stocked with stylish (but still orthopedic!) footwear options for all ages.

Bianca Carter

CEO (She/Her)

Day in and out, Bianca works hard to ensure Feet First Clinic runs smoothly. Customer service is at the top of her list and she treats every customer like family. Bianca has a passion for fitness and is dedicated to helping people take care of their feet and body. There is no problem that she can’t solve and she believes that where there is a will, there’s a way.

Carolina Charles

Patient Relation Coordinator (She/Her)

If you’ve been to the clinic before, chances are you had the pleasure of meeting Carolina! Carolina’s daily goal is going above and beyond to make sure patients are always completely satisfied. Having worked in the podiatry industry for 22 years, Carolina brings a wealth of knowledge pertaining to client service, insurance policies, and procedures.​ She steers the ship to make sure everything runs smoothly on the daily. Carolina is known for spicing up every outfit with her signature costume jewellery.