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Should I see a doctor if I have a black-and-blue toenail?

It depends on how much pain you are in. Bruising underneath a nail due to a crushing injury is called a subungual hematoma. If your nail is simply black and blue and you do not have much pain associated with it, then the bruise should grow out as your nail grows. If the bruise is large enough, the buildup of blood between your nail and skin may cause the nail to eventually fall off. If your pain is significant, you may want to see a doctor. The buildup of blood underneath the nail can cause pressure that results in pain. The doctor may need to relieve the pressure for you. (This answer provided for NATA by the Eastern University Athletic Training Education Program)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.