White Spots And Streaks
Stubbing your toe doesnât always lead to a bruise. Thatâs because the blood vessels under the nail might not break and leak blood. Instead, you might get a white spot on your toenail. It wonât donât disappear like a bruise, but it will grow out in time. Toe trauma can also cause a white streak — though you might not know you hurt yourself. For example, it can happen when sneakers are too small and your toe hits the front of the shoe.
Blood Beneath The Nail
This is what we call a subungual haematoma which translates to blood beneath the nail. There are many reasons why you may get bleeding beneath the nail, and before you worry, most of these are harmless and comparable to getting bruising beneath your skin.
Examples include impact injury, like having your toe stood on in sports or dropping something heavy on your foot, stubbing your toe, wearing tight shoes that press on your toes, keeping your nails too long so that theyre constantly buttressing against the end of the shoe, and the like.
Depending on the size of the bleeding and the spot, you may lose your toenail. If this happens, its likely that the nail will simply grow back with little harm done, though as toenails grow slowly, it may take anywhere from 9-18 months.
Look For The Signs Of Melanoma
When this skin cancer develops on a foot, you may see the ABCDEs of melanoma, but its also possible for a melanoma to have different features. Aside from looking like a changing mole, a melanoma on the foot can appear as a:
Brown or black vertical line under a toenail
Pinkish-red spot or growth
New spot or growth where you injured your foot
Rapidly growing mass on your foot, especially where you once injured your foot
Non-healing sore on your foot
Sore that looks like a diabetic ulcer
Sometimes, melanoma on the foot feels painful, bleeds, or itches, but not always. The bleeding tends to stop and start.
The following pictures show you what melanoma can look like on the foot.
Melanoma on the bottom of a toe
You can see some of the ABCDEs of melanoma. One half of this spot is unlike the other, it has an uneven border, and the color varies within the spot.
Melanoma on the bottom of a foot
Here, you can also see some of ABCDEs of melanoma, such as one half is unlike the other and it is larger than the eraser on a pencil.
Melanoma on the bottom of the foot
In this picture, you can see some of the ABCDEs of melanoma, such as more than one color, uneven border, and one half is unlike the other.
Melanoma beneath a toenail
On the feet and hands, melanoma can begin as a dark vertical line underneath a nail.
Melanoma on a callused heel
You may see melanoma that is brown, black, reddish pink, or flesh colored, and it can appear in just about any shape.
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Black Spots Under Toenail Treatments
For a black spot under toenail treatment, you may be able to use topical, over-the-counter products to cure the underlying cause. There are also gentle products to add to a foot bath to treat the ailment.
If your nail has partially or completely turned black, the fungus infection has set in and destroyed the nail. The toenail will become cracked and brittle and will fall off on its own. We do have preventative measures to treat infected and injured toenails before this happens.
Is It Toenail Fungus Or Something Else
Odd-looking toenail? It may be a fungal infection, but there’s a good chance that another condition could be to blame.
If you notice an odd spot on your toenail, you might assume its a fungal infection. However, theres a good chance that its not.
Spots or discolorations on or under a toenail could be bruises resulting from trauma to the nail, blood blisters, warts, or even subungual melanoma, a type of skin cancer, says Ami Sheth, a doctor of podiatric medicine in Los Gatos, California, and a spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association.
Since nail irregularities can be caused by diseases besides these as well, its best to get it looked at, says Dr. Sheth.
Richard Goad, a doctor of podiatric medicine at Baylor Scott & White Health in Waco, Texas, concurs. Sometimes the nail will be the first place to show another underlying problem, Dr. Goad says.
So is it a fungus, a false alarm, or another condition entirely?
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Practice Good Nail Hygiene
Routinely check your toes and feet after bathing. Youll spot trouble and be able to treat concerns faster.
Dont wear nail polish longer than a week or two.
You cant spot changes in your toenail if theyre covered in polish all the time.
Trim your toenails straight across with slightly rounded corners.
Sharp corners invite toenails to grow into the sides of the skin and cause sore ingrown toenails.
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Can I Wear Nail Polish If I Have Toenail Fungus
You may feel tempted to cover up a discolored toenail with nail polish. But if youre using a topical antifungal, you probably shouldnt use polish. Your healthcare provider may tell you not to wear it in any case.
Nail polish traps in moisture from your nailbed . Because fungi thrive in moist environments, wearing nail polish may make a fungal infection worse. However, your nail continues to grow with or without polish.
Discolored Toenails: How To Treat Nail Discoloration
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Looking down at your toes, you notice that one, or a few, are looking a bit off-color. Whether green, black, or brown, this unsightly scene is enough to ask yourself: Is this discoloration normal? Should I be worried?
Find out what can cause nail discoloration and when you should talk to a doctor.
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Black Spot On Toenail: A Closer Look
That unsightly black spot can be a small or large dot that appears on the nail bed of the toe or under the toenail. It could be a black toenail fungus or a collection of dried blood from a recent injury to the toe. The latter may be the result if the area is tender to the touch or causes pain. A fungus condition will see the black spot grow bigger in size.
Letâs learn about the causing factors of these black spots to see if it warrants a visit to the doctorâs office.
What Causes Urticaria Pigmentosa
Mast cells. Mast cells are part of your body’s immune system. They are a type of white blood cell that is created in your bone marrow. Mast cells are found throughout your body, especially where your body interacts with the outside world. This includes your skin, lungs, and intestines. When your mast cells detect a germ, they release histamine to protect your body.
Genetic mutation. The abnormal build-up of mast cells that causes urticaria pigmentosa happens because of a mutation, or change, in a specific gene. This change usually happens in the womb, but it’s not passed down from your parents. The reason for this mutation is not known.
Indolent systemic mastocytosis. Urticaria pigmentosa is the most common form of mastocytosis in children. Mastocytosis is more likely to be chronic in adults and can progress to more severe forms. The most common form in adults is indolent systemic mastocytosis. Here, there is a build-up of mast cells in the skin as well as other areas, usually the bone marrow.â
Some cases of mastocytosis can progress to even more severe forms of cancer. These include mast cell leukemia and mast cell sarcoma. In these forms of mastocytosis, there is a loss of organ function due to mast cells infiltrating the organs. This usually happens in the bone marrow, bones, gut, or liver. These forms of mastocytosis are aggressive and very rare.
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What About White Streaks On Your Nails
Another possible symptom to be aware of is noticing a white streak on your nails. Some people do have white marks on their nails, but this is usually due to some sort of damage that you may have done to it. It is also more probable that any white marks or ridges on your nails are due to vitamin deficiency.
However, if you notice these white streaks, where you are certain you have not caused them through any other means, it is important to seek advice from your doctor as soon as possible.
It could also be a sign of toenail fungus or an infection.
Fungal Infection Of The Nails
Dirt, poor hygiene, and living in a humid area are all causes of a fungal infection in your toenails. Fungal toenail infections can cause discoloration, making your nail appear any of these colors:
If a fungal infection is causing your nail discoloration, you may have success treating it with an over-the-counter antifungal cream.
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Natural Options For Fungal Infections
Many people believe that there are natural options that can help address a fungal infection. Lets take a closer look at two of them.
· Coconut oil Researchers believe that coconut oil has antifungal properties. Coconut oil contains lauric acid and capric acid, which help to disrupt fungal membranes.4
· Apple cider vinegar Apple cider vinegar contains maleic acid, which purportedly has antifungal and antibacterial properties. However, there is not a great deal of scientific evidence that proves apple cider vinegar can have any sort of effect on a fungal infection that affects the toenails.5
What Causes Tinea Unguium
A type of mold called a dermatophyte causes tinea unguium. Dermatophytes are fungal microorganisms . They feed off of keratin, a protein found in your fingernails and toenails. Keratin makes nails hard.
Dermatophytes are the cause behind 90% of toenail fungal infections. But other types of fungi can infect your toenails as well.
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Symptom: Brown Vertical Stripe On The Nail
This may be a sign of melanoma. While you may think the deadliest type of skin cancer always shows up as a mole or dark spot, it can actually start in the nail.
Only about 1 percent of all melanomas in Caucasians occur in the nail, but if youre African-American, 20 percent of melanomas start there, Rich said.
In more advanced cases, it can spread on to the cuticle area or the skin around the nail. Thats an ominous sign its means its growing and spreading, she noted.
Hormones and certain medications can also make pigmented bands in the nails, but be especially watchful for nail cancer symptoms, such as a brown or dark stripe that goes from the cuticle out to the free edge of the nail, especially one thats getting wider.
If you have brown fingernails and the discoloration is round, as opposed to linear, it could be another condition. For example, brown spots on nails, especially if they’re pitted, could be a sign of nail psoriasis.
Course of action: Get any brown pigmentation on your nail checked out by a dermatologist.
What Is Black Toenail Fungus
If you have a dark, thick toenail, it could be toenail fungus, which is usually caused by a type of fungus called dermatophytes. It affects the toenail and the area beneath the nail and causes color changes, thickening, and abnormally shaped nails.
Its fairly common, with at least 12% of American adults diagnosed with it, according to Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery. Older adults and people with diabetes, circulation problems, or a weakened immune system are more likely to have toenail fungus.
This infection doesnt usually go away on its own, and it can take a year or more to treat it with prescription medications. These are applied to the nail or taken in pill form.
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What Is The Cause
Most melanomas are related to skin cancer and therefore they can be attributed to spending too much time in the sun, or not using sun creams properly, or even at all.
But, a toenail melanoma is not caused in this way in fact, there are no conclusive explanations as to why they may occur. Some doctors think they might be caused by damage to the toe or nail.
There is no such thing as a skin cancer that affects the toenail directly. If you had skin cancer on the toe or foot, it might cause some damage to the nail bed or matrix, but you cannot get skin cancer on the nail itself.
What Can I Expect If I Have A Toenail Fungus
While toenail fungus is common, its usually not harmful. Symptoms mostly affect the look of your toenail.
Toenail fungus may spread to the skin between your toes or other areas of your body. When getting dressed, put your socks on first to reduce the chance of spread.
Treating toenail fungus takes a long time, and it doesnt always work. Even then, toenail fungus often returns. Discuss the pros and cons of treating toenail fungus with your healthcare provider to determine whats best for you.
Practicing good hygiene and foot care reduces the chance toenail fungus will come back. If you have diabetes, getting regular foot exams may help you address foot problems before they get serious.
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Concerned About What Youre Seeing
Nail problems should never have you worried or keep you awake at night and if they are, we highly recommend trusting those instincts and having your nails checked. Our podiatry team will give you an idea of what the likely cause for your nail discolouration is and treat it accordingly or refer you to a specialist if we suspect something more sinister or further investigation is required.
White Spots Or Lines Typically Mean Repeated Trauma
Cunha said white lines or spots on nails are the results of a repeated pressure or trauma, but not one severe enough to cause a dark bruise. The culprit may be something as simple as frequently wearing ill-fitting shoes that pinch or rub the toenail in the same spot constantly. Apart from ceasing whatever’s causing the damage, Cunha recommends certain supplements to help with healing.
“Take a nail fortifying vitamin such as hair, skin, and nails biotin, or even prenatal vitamins for females,” he said.
Ultimately, however, this is another one you’re just going to have to wait out. The spot will likely remain visible until it is replaced by new growth.
White nail discoloration can also be caused by anemia, so if your shoes or other potential sources of injury don’t seem to be the cause, consider checking with a doctor to see if you might have an iron deficiency.
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Does It Cause Your Toes To Hurt
If the melanoma is newer, there could be no pain at all, unless your nail becomes damaged. If the nail lifts from underneath, the toe and nail will become sore and will cause you some pain.
However, if the problem has not been spotted early, the cancerous cells can spread to the bones of your toes and this can cause quite a lot of pain.
Black Spots Under Toenail: 5 Causes Of Black Toenails
Seeing your toenail turning black is alarming and there are a range of issues that can cause black spots under the toenail. Find out the potential causes in this article.
Seeing your toenail suddenly or slowly turning black is definitely alarming, but there are a range of issues that can cause black spots under toenail ranging from minor to more severe.
After reading this article, if you are still unsure what could be causing your black spots under toenail, or it is causing you significant distress, you will need to schedule an appointment with your doctor to get a full assessment of the situation.
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