Getting a pedicure for many people can be a way to pamper themselves or to practice self-care. Unfortunately, sometimes a pedicure, even with good intentions can cause problems. One of the problems that can be seen after a pedicure is a black toenail.
Reasons Why Your Toenail Is Black After A Pedicure
1. Blood under your toenail
The most common cause for a black toenail after a pedicure is blood under your toenail.
This is called a hematoma, or a subungal hematoma. A hematoma is bleeding somewhere inside of your body. For a black toenail, this bleeding happens under your nail. Even though the bleeding has long since stopped, and the blood is usually dry, the nail can look black, purple, or dark red.
The reason why blood pools underneath your nail is also a nail injury, also known as nail trauma. Unfortunately, if the nail tech was too aggressive during your pedicure, a black toenail can be seen after the fact.
How Long Will Blood Be Under My Toenail?
The answer for this depends on how severe the bleeding was, and also how far back the black spot on your toenail is.
If this black spot is further back of your nail, it will take much longer for your nail to grow out. Blood stains toenails, so unfortunately the toenail will remain purple, black red, or yellow while it grows out, and new nail grows in.
Toenails also grow very slowly. For your body to replace a big toenail for example, from your cuticle to the tip of your nail, it can take 9 months to about one year.
How Do I Heal A Toenail Injury?
Many toenail injuries do not require any treatment, especially if the black part of your nail is small. If more than 1/2 of your nail is black, it is a good idea to see a foot doctor in your area.
At this visit, a foot doctor will be sure to do a thorough exam, and be sure that there aren't any other issues going on with your toe, like a cut or laceration to your nail bed, or a broken bone to your toe.
At times the foot doctor will recommend that this nail be removed, for your nail bed to be treated, and for a new toenail to grow in.
2. A nail infection
Unfortunately, many nail salons do not sterilize the instruments that they use on their clients. Because of this, the risk of catching a nail fungus or bacterial infection in your nail from many of these salons is much higher.
To be sure that a black spot on the nail is fungus or bacteria, a sample of your nail will be taken by your foot doctor and sent to a lab, to see what grows. Once your foot doctor has the results, treatment can begin.
Treatment can include medicines to take by mouth or a special liquid to paint on your toenail.
How long it can take to treat nail fungus or a bacterial infection of your toenail again depends on how severe the infection is. At times the infected nail has to be trimmed away due to it lifting from your toe.
Why a toenail is black after a pedicure can be a distressing experience. From blood under the toenail to a toenail infection, it's important to keep an eye on your toenail to be sure that the problem is not getting worse. If at any time you are concerned with how your toenail looks, book an appointment with your local podiatrist or foot doctor.
Schedule Your Appointment At Direct Podiatry Arizona
Are you looking for a foot doctor or podiatrist in the Phoenix area? My name is Dr. Tarr, and I am the owner of Direct Podiatry Arizona in Tempe. To view my available appointment times, click here.