Nail Care

What Causes Black Fingernails?

Changes in fingernail color can indicate a health problem or it can be harmless. Changes in nail color may result from various causes. Also it is important to remove your nail polish before you meet your doctor so he or she can see the nails actual natural color.

What Causes Black Fingernails?

Black fingernails although rare, can be due to various factors:

  • Fungus:

    Nail fungus or onychomychosis can cause black fingernails. The fungus gains access through cuts or opening of the nail and survives on the protein found in dead skin and nail. The nail gets a black color due to the collection of debris and the spread of fungus. Oral and topical anti-fungal treatments can help in managing this problem

  • Injury:

    An injury to the nail can result in broken blood vessels and bleeding. The blood under the nail or hematoma results in blackening of the nail. The black appearance will go away as the nail injury heals however it may take several weeks

  • Melanoma:

    Black spots under the nail can indicate melanoma which is dangerous form of cancer. If you have black spots without an injury, do consult your doctorimmediately.

Checking your fingernail color is an important part of nail care. If you find sudden changes in your fingernail color, do get them checked with your doctor.

Black fingernails can indicate fingernail fungus, injury or melanoma. Quick diagnosis and treatment of the problem can prevent conditions such as cancer.

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