discolored toenails, discolored toenails pictures, discolored toenails treatment, toenail discoloration from nail polish, purple discoloration under big toenail, melanoma toenail, black toenail cancer, black toenail fungus, yellow toenails diabetes,

Toenails discoloration or toenails color changing can be as a result of many factors like malnutrition, poor lifestyle, and poor hygiene, change in climatic conditions, and diseases.

First, it is important to know that knowing the underlying causes of toenails discoloration can be a good point to start when treating toenails discoloration.

Keep reading to discover the causes, symptoms, treatments, and preventions of toenails discoloration.

    What Causes Toenails Discoloration?

    Some of the causes of toenails discoloration are easily detectable while others proved to be stubborn.

    Below are the most common causes of toenails discoloration:

    Discolored Toenail Cause #1: Adverse Drug Reactions

    Taking drugs at a high dose or for a very long period of time is correlated with severe toenails discoloration.

    One study showed that constant drug intake can affect nail and hair healthy growth.

    Discolored Toenail Cause #2: Traumatic Conditions/Subungual Hematoma

    Subungual melanoma is a condition characterized by a presence of blood under the nail bed. This can be caused by accidentally hitting your fingernails or toenails with a working equipments like a hammer.

    Wearing tight-fitting shoes can also cause hematoma by trapping blood in your toenail bed, and this leads to increased pressure inside blood vessels.

    The increased pressure causes blood vessels to break, which allows blood to flow to space underneath the nail bed.

    The nails in the presence of this blood appears as a red to black in color.

    Discolored Toenail Cause #3: Nail Fungus

    Your toenails can be discolored when infected by nail fungus.

    Nail fungus is a condition caused by a fungi. The infection normally starts with white to yellow coloration underneath the tip area of your toenails.

    As the infection worsens, the condition may cause your toenails to be discolored, distorted, and thickened.

    Discolored Toenail Cause #3: Nail Polish

    discolored toenails, discolored toenails pictures, discolored toenails treatment, toenail discoloration from nail polish, purple discoloration under big toenail, melanoma toenail, black toenail cancer, black toenail fungus, yellow toenails diabetes,

    Nail polish can also discolor your toenails, especially if you are painting your nails too frequently and left the paint to stay for a long period of time.

    Frequent nail polish can cause nails to crack and bruises.

    Discolored Toenail Cause #4: Age

    Age is also one of the contributing factors for nail discoloration. When we grow toward 50, our skin will begin to lose its elasticity and ability to actively regenerate new skin cells. This causes loose skin, nails discoloration, distortion, and cracks.

    Discolored Toenail Cause #5: Yellow Nail Syndrome

    Yellow nail syndrome is a hereditary nail condition that affects both fingernails and toenails. The condition causes yellow toenails discoloration, thickened and cracked nails. In severe cases, you may start experiencing bleeding and painful discomfort.

    Discolored Toenail Cause #6: Skin Cancer/ Subungual Melanoma

    This is a skin cancer that appears on the toenails as black streaks and stains without any root known causes.

    Discolored Toenail Cause #7: Underlying Medical Conditions

    When you are suffering from disease conditions that are related to heart, kidney, digestive tract, and liver, you can notice color changing.

    Most people with diabetes experience nail discoloration when compared with nondiabetic patients. Other diseases that can change your nail color are jaundice, candidiasis, psoriasis, and skin rashes.

    Discolored Toenail Cause #8: Smoking Cigarette

    Smoking cigarettes can also help discolored your nails. If you can take a close look at the cigarette smokers, you can this by yourself that their nails tend to be discolored when compared with non-cigarette smokers.

    Symptoms Of  Nail Discoloration

    • Greenish discoloration
    • Nails shape distortion
    • Nails cracking
    • Smelling
    • Bleeding
    • Red discoloration
    • Brown discoloration
    • Black discoloration
    • Yellow discoloration

    When To See A Medical Doctor

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    toenail discoloration

    When you start experiencing the following symptoms beside nails discoloration, you need to rush to the medical care center for proper medical checkups:

    • Severe cracks
    • Bleeding
    • Swelling
    • Smelling

    Treatments Of Toenails Discoloration

    • use garlic cloves to kill nail fungus
    • moisturize your nails with tea tree oil
    • put your foot in warm water to soften nails, this prevents nails crack
    • exfoliate your toenails with hydrogen peroxide, this helps remove debris and stains
    • use topical and oral medications to kill nail fungus
    • moisturize your nails with vitamin E oil

    Preventions Of Toenails Discoloration

    • wear loose shoes
    • do not leave your foot for a long time in a shoes
    • avoid taking your legs into a contaminated beach, river, pool and dirty stagnant
    • wash your legs properly after every exercise
    • allow or dry your legs after wash

    Frequently Asked Questions About Toenails Discoloration

    Below are some of your frequently asked questions on toenails discoloration:

    What Does It Mean When Your Toenails Are Discolored?

    Discolored toenails may be as a result of infectious and other skin conditions. Your toenails can appear yellow, green, brown, or black, depending on the root cause.

    For instance, nail discoloration from hematoma may appear as red to black.

    While toenails discoloration due to yellow toenails syndrome may appear yellow in color.

    If you notice your toenails turning into black bruise at the tip of your nail that may be a sign of trauma or cancer.

    Can Tight Shoes Cause Toenails Discoloration?

    Wearing tight-fitting shoes can contribute to toenails discoloration. This happens due to the repeated pressure on the blood vessels.

    The pressure causes the blood vessels to break, and release blood into the space between the toenail bed. The common color toenails due to this type of trauma is normally dark red, and the condition is called a subungual hematoma.

    What Are The Signs Of Nail Cancer?

    The medical name of nail cancer is called subungual melanoma. And the most common signs and symptoms associated with nail cancer are bruised and cracked nails.

    When the condition becomes severe, you may notice the appearance of streaks of different shades on the affected toenails and also the place nearest to the cuticle maybe widen.

    What Does Melanoma Look Like Under A Toenails?

    Nail cancer or melanoma normally begins as a brown or black shed beneath the toenails bed. Sometimes, subungual melanoma may be confused with a bruise, but it can easily be differentiated by black streaks and stains on the toenails without a known cause.

    Is Nail Melanoma Dangerous?

    Nail melanoma or subungual melanoma is quite different from other nail problems like yellow nail syndrome.

    The condition starts in the neighboring skin and then spreads to the space between the toenails bed matrix.

    Melanoma of nail is very scarce, but when it affects individuals, it can lead to a severe health condition.

    What Are My Toenails Discolored After Removing Polish?

    When you Polish your toenails and left the color for a very long period of time on the nail, the toenails will permanently absorb the pigment in the dye and appears just like the Polish paint.

    This appears as a yellowed, stained and chalky, sometimes alongside cracks and bruises.

    Can Toenails Fungus Spread Internally?

    If one of your toenails is affected by fungus, the remaining toenails around the infected toenails may also be infected by the nail fungus.

    What Color Should Toenails Be?

    The normal color of a healthy toenails is supposed to be pink in color. As the toenails continue to grow toward the edge or tip of the nail bed, the color may turn into a white.

    Discoloration of toenails color is one of the signs of health problems.

    What Does Brown Toenails Indicate?

    When your toenails turn into a brown color, it may be a sign of fungal infection or subungual hematoma.

    What Is A Black Toenails Sign Of?

    Black toenails can be a sign of serious skin conditions like cancer. Sometimes, black toenails may be a sign of trauma, which happens when something hit or fall on your toenails.

    How Common Is Toenails Melanoma?

    The prevalence of subungual melanoma is not significant, affecting only 1% of white-skinned people. However, subungual melanoma can affect people of all races.

    Can Toenails Fungus Enter Your Bloodstream?

    In severe cases, toenails fungus can get access to the surrounding blood vessels. Even if the fungus does not enter the bloodstream, the nails crack caused by nail fungus can be used by bacteria to cause infection.

    Related: Yellow Toenails Causes And Treatments


    Nails discoloration may be something not to worry about but only if you know the root cause. This is because sometimes your discolored toenails may be a sign of serious melanoma.

    Many people become a victim of this type of disease condition. Because, they were thinking it is just like a normal nail discoloration, and so they refuse to seek for special medical treatments.

    As advice, always don't take any abnormal changes in your body lightly. Consult your medical doctor, if you find yourself in a dark corner.

    Most toenails discoloration are sometimes tends to be difficult to manage, but with time and proper medications, everything will be resolved.

    We have given some of the proven ways to properly manage discolored toenails and tips on how to prevent future incidence.

    We hope the article gives you excellent help in understanding the causes, symptoms, treatments, and preventions of discolored toenails.

    This article is written by Idris Ya'u


    • Shailee Patel  & Antonella Tosti. An overview of the management of
    drug-induced hair and nail disorders

    American Osteopathic College of Dermatology
    • Image source: Wikipedia Creative Commons

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