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Date of last update: 10/18/2017.

Forum Name: Dermatology Topics

Question: Black Skin on Nail Bed (Picture Inside)

 Mark122 - Sat Apr 04, 2009 11:03 pm

I'm a 19-year-old male. I developed a corn on the side of my toe not too long along; I was seeing my podiatrist about an ingrown toenail and asked him about it. He told me that it was caused by the adjacent toe rubbing against the area and gave me a pad to place between them to get rid of it. The corn never really went away, and at some point I went to a drug store and got some corn removing band aids to put on it. Although they significantly reduced its size, the corn stayed. A week or two went by and I noticed the skin around the area was pretty scabby/dead/pealing so I kind of just pulled it off. There wasn't really any drainage and it didn't look too bad. Anyway now i've just recently noticed the area is completely black. It doesn't hurt at all and there are no other symptoms. I can't see my doctor for at least 2 weeks but i would appreciate if someone could tell me what might be causing this or if i need to worry. The area still feels like it did when it was a corn.. it's slightly elevated and the skin is hard, but there isn't any pain, odor, itching, etc. A picture is below.. please help, I can answer any other questions if needed.

 John Kenyon, CNA - Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:41 pm

User avatar Hello --

Based on the photo this looks at first glance like a blood blister or collection of dead blood encapsulated under the skin. If this is the case it will slough on on its own in time. It could also be dead tissue suffused with dead blood cells, but it still appears encapsulated so the same self-resolution would seem likely either way and in fact the two things are so similar it usually makes no difference. I would still have it looked at, however, on the off chance there is bacterial invasion of the area with possible slow necrotic progression, in which case it would need some more aggressive medical treatment and possible minor surgical internvention (drainage or removal of the dead tissue). This will become clear when you are seen by your doctor, but so long as it remains stable it should be okay to wait. If it becomes discolored around the dead part, painful, develops local fever, etc., then you'll need to have it seen urgently. Otherwise, as now, it appears stable and may well have resolved by the time of your appointment.

Good luck to you with this.

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