What is Bruised Toenail?

Bruised Toenail

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What is Bruised Toenail?


A bruised toenail, also known as a subungual hematoma, occurs when blood collects underneath the toenail due to trauma or injury.  It can happen from stubbing your toe, dropping something heavy on it or from repetitive pressure (like from ill-fitting shoes or activities like running).

What Do Bruised Toenails Look Like?

A bruised toenail is pretty apparent because of two things:

  1. Pain.  Trauma to your toenails will, in most cases, cause pain that can last a few days.
  2. Color.  When the blood vessels break, they bleed out under your toenails.  You will notice areas that start a reddish color, turn purple, become dark brown and finally turn black.

In some cases, you might also be beating on your poor toenails without necessarily bruising them.  Indications of toe trauma will show as white streaks on your toenails because the blood vessels get hurt but don’t break.

Risk Factors

Certain factors can increase your chance of getting a bruised toenail. These include:

  • Taking part in sports activities that could cause repetitive stress or trauma to the toes, such as soccer, dance and long-distance running.
  • Wearing open-toed shoes or sandals frequently—for example, if you live in a warmer climate
  • Working in jobs that involve repetitive motions, such as manual labor or construction
  • Having a bleeding or blood clotting disorder, such as coagulopathy (an excessive bleeding disorder) or peripheral vascular disease (a progressive blood circulation disorder affecting blood vessels outside of the heart or brain)
  • Having a health condition that alters the way pain is processed, such as diabetic neuropathy (a type of nerve damage caused by diabetes)

An altered pain response may lead to a delay in someone seeking treatment for nail injuries or trauma, which can increase the risk of complications.

Are you suffering from any foot condition?  At The Chelsea Clinic, we can help.  One of our podiatrist can assist and then recommend what treatments are best to get you back on track. Podiatrist South Kensington
Schedule an appointment here or you may call us at +44 (0) 207 101 4000


We hope you have a feetastic day!

-The Chelsea Clinic and Team



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