4 Causes and Treatment of Black Nails
Windowofworld.com – Black nails can be a sign of certain conditions on the body. The causes can be due to lack of nutrition, an infection, injury, to some more serious medical conditions such as diabetes, or even melanoma skin cancer.
Healthy nail color is generally clear white. Changes in nail color, both finger nails or toes, can be a sign of a problem with your health. In some cases, the color of black nails is not a serious condition and can improve on its own. But in some others, black nails are a sign of a serious medical condition and need immediate doctor treatment.
Causes of Black Nails to Watch Out for
Below are some conditions that cause the nail to change color to black. Some of them have to watch out for because they have the potential to endanger your health and even your life.
One of the most common causes of black nails is a fungal infection. But bacterial infections can also cause nails to turn black. Nail fungus infection occurs when the fungus attacks the fingernails, toenails, or skin under the nail surface. Nail fungus infections are more prone to occur in those who perspire frequently, habit of biting nails, and using artificial nails. Smoking, work risks that often lead to wet nails, increasing age, and health conditions such as diabetes and psoriasis, also increase the risk of getting nail fungus.
Color changes due to fungal and bacterial infections are not just black nail, they can also be white, yellow, and green. Nails will become brittle, break easily, and can be detached on their own. Nail fungus infection does not always cause pain at first. But in some cases, the infection can be painful or uncomfortable when depressed, for example when wearing shoes or when on the move. Untreated fungal infections that have spread will cause complications, such as cellulitis or bone infections (osteomyelitis).
In healthy people, nail fungus infection may not be a serious problem. But in people with diabetes and people with weak immunity, this condition can lead to more serious health problems.
2. Injury or trauma
Black nails can be caused by injury. This condition is called subungual hematoma, which is bruising or bleeding that occurs under the surface of the nails, either fingernails or toenails. Bleeding occurs due to rupture of blood vessels in the nail area. Blood that collects under the surface of the nails will look dark in color making the nails look black, generally accompanied by nails that feel “twitching”, swollen fingers and nails, and pain when touched or pressed.
Injury to the nails can occur due to the impact of hard objects or pinched doors. For minor injuries, black nail due to injuries do not need special medical treatment. Usually after some time, the black nails will detach from the fingers on their own and will grow back into intact nails in a period of 2 to 6 months.
3. Melanoma and endocartitis
Black, tanned, and dark purple nails can be a sign of a serious medical condition, such as endocarditis or melanoma. Melanoma is a dangerous type of skin cancer. Nail melanomas generally cause discoloration of the nail, which appear as thick black or brown lines, stretching vertically from the base of the nail to the tip of the nail. Black or brown spots may appear under the nails. While endocarditis is inflammation of the inner lining of the heart (endocardium) caused by bacterial infection.
4. Other conditions
Black nails can also be caused by several other medical conditions, including diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, and anemia. Side effects of drugs such as chemotherapy, zidovudine antivirals, psoralens, and hydroxyurea, can also cause black nail.
Black Nail Treatment
Black nails do not always require medical treatment if they are not caused by certain diseases. If black nails appear due to a medical condition, then the treatment given depends on the cause. For example, if black nails are caused by a nail fungus infection, then treatment can be with ointments or antifungal creams that can be purchased freely. For cases of severe nail fungus infection may require antifungal drugs by prescription. Especially for diabetics who have nail fungus infections, medical treatment is needed immediately by the doctor.
If black nails occur as a result of injury, the following ways can relieve the pain experienced, namely:
- Compress the nails and fingers using ice, and position the fingers higher than the heart.
- If bleeding occurs, use a clean cloth and press on the nail to stop the bleeding.
- Clean the nails with warm water, apply antiseptic ointment and injured nail plaster.
- If it feels very painful, you can take paracetamol to reduce the pain. Usually the pain and swelling of the injured nail will heal within one week.
If your nails do not change color due to injury, it is recommended to check with a dermatologist, so that further tests can be done and given the right treatment according to the cause of the black nails that you are experiencing.