Everything You Need to Know About Bruised Toenails

here are the signs of a broken big toe joint pain

Imagine how hard life would be without your eyes, an arm, or a leg? Every part of the body is essential to the function of our daily lives. Even the smallest pieces of us, like our toenails, are necessary and can indicate any health issues we might have.

Although some people are clumsier than others, it’s probable we have all experienced the pain associated with hurting one of our toes. Let’s consider:

  • What are the causes of a bruised toenail?
  • What do bruised toenails look like?
  • Can a bruised nail be treated?

What Are The Causes of a Bruised Toenail?

When our toenails experience some kind of trauma, we can end up with bruised toenails. A bruised toenail, also medically referred to as a Subungual Hematoma, occurs when the blood vessels under your nails are injured.

The pressure from an injury will cause the blood vessels to break and bleed. Some ways you can injure your toenail include:

  • Crushing your toes by dropping something heavy on them
  • Ramming your foot into an object
  • Wearing shoes that are too tight
  • Running routinely in areas downhill

Bruised toenails are also common among athletes, especially those who play tennis, soccer, and basketball. In sports like these, athletes are constantly running and stopping bringing a toll on their feet.

What Do Bruised Toenails Look Like?

A bruised toenail is pretty apparent because of two things:

  1. Pain. Trauma to your toenails will, in most cases, cause pain that can last a few days.
  2. Color. When the blood vessels break, they bleed out under your toenails. You will notice areas that start a reddish color, turn purple, become dark brown, and finally turn black.

In some cases, you might also be beating on your poor toenails without necessarily bruising them. Indications of toe trauma will show as white streaks on your toenails because the blood vessels get hurt but don’t break. 

If your toenails haven’t experienced any trauma but have turned black, you should go to the doctor and make sure it’s not a rare cause of:

Melanoma, which is a type of skin cancer

Chronic ingrown nails

Can a Bruised Toenail be Treated?

Bruised toenails cause pain due to the swelling that happens when it is injured. According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology (AOCD), you can alleviate the pain of a bruised toenail with “rest, ice, elevation, and compression of the toe”. The ice will contribute to the reduction of the swelling.

If the pain persists for more than a couple of days, then you might need to seek treatment with a medical professional. A nail trephination, where a small hole is made in the nail for the blood to drain, is performed in extreme cases.

Are Your Toenails Turning a Different Color?

Are you noticing your nails turn a weird color? The color of your toenail can be an indication of various conditions, for example:

  • Yellow. If your toenail is all yellow, this could be an indication of a fungal infection.
  • Green. An infection can also be caused by bacteria, like green nail syndrome.

Canyon Oaks Foot and Ankle have the mission to provide total care of the foot with compassion and efficiency. Our experts can provide the guidance you need to if you believe you have more than a bruised toenail. Contact us today!

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