A bruised toenail, though not a serious condition, can be very bothersome. A person with a bruised toenail, develops a dark blue or black colored spot on the toenail, which can be quite painful in some cases. A black toenail results from the collection of blood and fluids under the nail plate. It is also accompanied by swelling in many cases.
How to Take Care of A Bruised Toenail
In case the toenail has been injured and there is bleeding, it is advised that the toenail be wrapped with a bandage for an hour or so. The foot should be kept elevated till the bleeding stops. Ideally, the injured nail should be left in its place and not removed, as it helps the new nail to grow in the right place. The treatment depends on the presence or absence of the associated pain. Let's learn to treat a bruised toenail in both the scenarios.
☞ If the bruised toenail has turned black because of the fluid build-up underneath the toenail, immense pain is caused to the person. In such a scenario, immediate medical attention is required. A podiatrist will make a hole in the area where there is fluid build-up to drain out the fluid so that less pressure is exerted on the toenail, and the resultant pain and the inflammation, can go down. Sometimes, the fluid build-up is so huge that the only solution is to remove the entire toenail in order to cure it. If the toenail is removed, it takes about six months for a new toenail to grow back. Pain killers such as ibuprofen are also prescribed for reducing the pain.
☞ If a bruised toenail is not associated with pain symptoms, generally no treatment is necessary to cure it. With time and with proper care, it will get healed on its own. If the toenail has become black, with time it will outgrow itself and a new toenail without such a bruise will be visible in about six weeks. If the toenail has become loose, let it separate from the toenail bed naturally. Do not try to pull it out yourself. Once the old toenail has fallen off, a new toenail will replace it in about six months time.
☞ An effective home remedy is to apply a paste of fuller's earth on the affected area. Fuller's earth is known to reduce the swelling as well as the pain caused due to the bruising of the toenail. This is followed by application of turmeric paste on the toe. Turmeric has natural anti-bacterial properties and thus, will prevent any kind of infection to develop in the toenail.
☞ A bruised toenail can be prevented by wearing right fitting shoes. Wearing shoes with straps, laces and other fancy accessories should be avoided as they can exert pressure on the toenail. Also, regularly keeping the toenails trimmed and with proper nail care, bruises in and around the toenails, can be avoided.
How Can You Bruise Your Toenail
Trauma: One of the most common causes is trauma incurred on the toenail because of physical activities such as sports and running. Repetitive strain injury or trauma caused due to these activities results in a black, bruised, toenail.
Injury: Any injury caused to the foot or the toenail because of an accident or by accidentally dropping something on the foot or by banging the foot on a hard surface, can cause a bruised toenail. Ballet dancers are especially known to suffer from this due to the pointed feet stance that they have to take while dancing.
Ill-fitting Footwear: Wearing such footwear which is too tight or which does not fit properly on the foot can exert pressure on the foot, and may result in a bruised toenail in some cases.
Long Nails: If the toenail is long or has not been trimmed properly, it may cause a bruised toenail.
Bruises on the toenail are not a serious problem in most cases, however, if it is accompanied by severe pain and swelling, which does not go away even after all the precautions have been undertaken, it is advised to consult a podiatrist for proper diagnoses as some foot problem such as, a claw foot, could be behind it.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.