There is a difference between black toenails and toenail fungus. One is an injury to the affected digit, while the other is a type of infection. Black toenails are typically caused by trauma to the end of the toe, whether a repetitive bump over time or a sudden injury. The damage causes blood to leak from the nail bed and pool under the hard tissue, darkening it. Toenail fungus is an infection by microscopic fungi festering in the nail bed. The pathogen damages your keratin and causes discoloration, thickening, and brittleness. Your nails may still appear dark, though, especially if you have a build-up of debris from the infection.
Whether or not a nail change is caused by an injury or an infection, have it investigated and cared for to protect your toes. Contact Sierra Foot & Ankle here in Carson City or Gardnerville, NV, for an appointment or to find out more information about nail health. You can reach us by calling (775) 783-8037 or by submitting our online contact form.