Black Toenail: Causes, Treatment and Home Remedies

black toenail

Nails are such a part of our body that we probably forget to take care of them. You take care of the nails on your hands, but you do not take care of the nails on your feet. Perhaps this is why your toenails do not look good or they may have problems like black toenail etc. The nails on your feet also need proper care like the nails on your hands. If the toenails are not properly taken care of, then diseases like black toenails can occur, in which your nails turn black.

Causes of Black Toenail

Here are some of the reason which promotes black toenail. If you can avoid these causes, then you can reduce the chances of black toenail.

Black Toenail Causes

Something heavy falls on your nails

If you get hurt on your feet or fall on something heavy, then the blood vessels under your nails burst, and the blood clot gets deposited there, which causes the colour of the nails to turn black.

Your shoes are the wrong size

The second reason is that the size of your shoes is not correct according to your foot, due to which there is constant rubbing on your toe, and if you run or work out in too tight shoes, then your nails turn black.

Skin cancer

Skin cancer melanoma grows under your nails, causing hyperpigmentation in the skin. Melanoma often develops slowly and painlessly. It spreads under your nails, which can lead to black toenails.

Fungal nail infection

If a fungal infection like an athlete’s foot spreads to your nails, then your nails can turn black.

Toenail pigmentation

People’s skin tones can naturally change over time. A dark patch may develop beneath the toenails. Pigmentation changes are usually uninformed. So, if it affects the matching toe, the fingernails may also develop darker patches beneath them. 

Underlying conditions

There are a few medical conditions that may cause black toenails, including diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, and anemia. If you control these underlying conditions, it will help the nail to regain its original color.

Treatment of Black Toenails

  • If your toenail has turned black, it may be growing. You can reduce it by doing some home remedies. But in the case of fungal infection and melanoma, you should go to the doctor. The doctor will draw blood from your nails with a needle and then examine your fingernail with blood. 
  • If the doctor gives you medicine to get rid of the black toenail, then you soak your toe in cold water for 15-20 minutes and then use the anti-fungal ointment as prescribed by the doctor. After applying the ointment to the thumb, cover the nail on your foot with a bandage.
  • Your doctor may give you some antifungal medication such as terbinafine or fluconazole to eat, but these can cause side effects such as upset stomach or dizziness.

Home Remedies to Treat Black Toenails

Some of the treatments of black toenail can be cured at home with some home remedies. Here are the remedies you can do at home.

home remedies of black toenail

Tree Oils
Tree oils contain antibacterial and antifungal qualities. Apply a small amount of oil with a cotton swab to the infected area each day to treat black toenails. Your black toenail will gradually return to its original colour if you do this.

Acetic acid, which is present in vinegar, has antifungal properties. Vinegar can be used as a foot soak when diluted with water. Black toenail fungus can be treated by daily foot soaks in foot vinegar. One part vinegar and two parts water might be the ratio. A long soak is required to minimise the infection if it is strong.

Oregano Oil
Oregano oil contains antifungal and antibacterial properties, which will help cure your black toenails quickly. Apply it twice to reduce the fungus. Mixing oregano oil and tea tree oil can also be applied. It will prove to be very beneficial.

Strong antimicrobial effects are present in garlic. It can be chopped into pieces and left on the diseased nail for 30 minutes. You can also take supplements with garlic. Before using these supplements, however, anyone with ulcers, stomach infections, or bleeding issues should speak with their doctor.
Changes in your diet

Your diet can encourage the growth of fungi. Infections can be decreased by reducing added sugar and carbohydrates, escape from alcohol, and increasing your intake of probiotics, garlic, and ginger.

Prevention from Black Toenails

There are several steps you can take to reduce the risk of black toenails:

  • Keep your toenails short and trim them from time-to-time.
  • Wear shoes that fit your feet. Your shoes should be neither too loose nor too tight.
  • If you do heavy work, wear protective shoes.
  • Always keep your feet clean and dry. Take good care of your feet in the same way you take care of your face and hands.
  • Always wear clean shoes and clean socks to avoid fungal infections.

When Should I See a Doctor?

If a person develops a sudden, unusual black toenail or if it does not go away with rest and at-home remedies, they should consult a doctor.
In cases of trauma or damage, the discolored area of the nail will vanish as the nail grows out.
Most fungal infections can be treated at home, sometimes without a doctor’s diagnosis.


If you do not pay proper attention to your foot nails, then chances of black toenail can increases. Although, black toenail is not such a big disease, but if it is not treated at the right time, then it can give you problems later. If you see its symptoms, then cure it as soon as possible so that it does not turn into a major disease later.

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Sneh Singh

Sneh Singh

Sneh Singh is a content writer with a passion for both reading books and writing about health and lifestyle-based information. He has a deep understanding of the latest health trends and he is knowledgeable about a variety of lifestyle topics. He uses this knowledge to craft engaging and informative content that provides real value to the readers. His style is approachable and he strives to make complex health and wellness information accessible to everyone. For more info, you can visit his linkedIn profile.