Black Line On Nail: Causes & Treatment

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black line on nail
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If you have noticed a weird black line on your nails and if you are curious to find out what is it then this is for you. 

This vertical line on your nails almost looks like a splinter inside your nails and it is known as a splinter hemorrhage. You can try to cover it up using nail paint but you need to look for a more permanent solution to this. A black line on nail can happen for several reasons which we will shortly discuss. 

A black line on nail may look harmless and sometimes it is but could also be an indication of something serious. You need to make sure that it is not the latter that has caused this to happen. 

What is a Splinter Haemorrhage?

A splinter hemorrhage or a black line under your nail is a condition where some tiny spots or lines are very close to each other and look like a dark line. This is caused because of damage to a blood vessel inside the nail and causes blood to clot. This line does not go away if you try to press the nail, it is on the nail bed where the blood capillaries got damaged. 

Symptoms of Splinter Haemorrhage:

These are some of the symptoms or signs that will help you to make out if you have this or not

  • Little bleeding inside the nail
  • A reddish-black or brown line forms on the nail
  • The line looks like a splinter that is under the nail
  • Very less or minimal pain
  • In case of injury, you may feel pain and swelling

What causes a Black line on nail?

The appearance of a black line on nail can happen because of several reasons which are listed as follows:

black line on nail
Source: The active times

Due to an Injury:

Sometimes a black line appears on nail because you hit your toenails or fingernails to something strong. We all are aware of how painful it is when we hit our toe pinkie to a piece of furniture. Sometimes such a crash or hit can be very strong and may cause one of the blood vessels inside your nail to burst. Since it won’t have a place to come out from as it is covered with the harsh nail it spreads under on the nail bed making it look like a splinter or a black line on nail. 

If you hit your finger or toes and it causes a black line to form then you will experience pain and even swelling around the area. 

Diabetes:

This is rare in people but sometimes it is seen that people who have diabetes or high levels of glucose complain about getting these black lines on their nails. So, if the reason behind a black line on your nail is not so obvious then you may have to get this checked. 

Related: Yoga For Diabetes: 5 Asanas That Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Psoriasis: 

Psoriasis is a skin condition where you get silvery scales or plaques all over your skin. It is a contagious disease and spreads ten times faster than any other disease. It causes red bumps on your skin that are white from the top and these can be seen the most on your scalp, back, knees, and elbows. About half the people who have psoriasis complain of having splinter hemorrhage. 

Fungal infection:

One of the obvious reasons and the most common one is when you get the line because of a fungal infection. This infection tends to thin the nail bed which damages the blood vessels and causes splinter like a black line on the nail. 

Any other disease:

This line on your nail can also form if you have certain diseases of heart, lung, or kidney. Sometimes it happens due to diseases like lupus, Raynaud’s disease, etc. So, if you aren’t aware of any such at the moment and still notice a black line on your nail then it is a sign for you to run some tests and seek medical guidance. 

So, these were a few of the reasons behind splinter hemorrhage or the formation of a black line on your nail. Still, these are not just the only ones, you should talk to a doctor before concluding. Then when you have been properly diagnosed you can move ahead to look for its treatments. 

Treatments for the black line on nail:

If you consult a doctor before concluding that you have a splinter hemorrhage or not, you will be able to take the correct treatment for it. Just like there are different causes behind the appearance of a black line on your nail there are different treatments according to those causes. Based on the reason, here are the possible treatments:

In case of an injury:

If you have the black line because you had an injury as we discussed above then you don’t have to do much about it. The line would disappear or fade after some time. However, you can try to use a cold press to make the swelling go away. 

In case of a Disease:

You got a splinter hemorrhage because of some unknown internal disease then you have to consult your doctor for proper medication and treatment. In this case, the process and treatment could be very long and not just for the black line. Once the disease is cured the line will disappear. 

In case of an Infection: 

If you got the line because you had a fungal infection then your doctor will give you antifungal medication or ointment to treat them. It will heal at its own pace. 

Surgery:

There are a few cases when the doctor may advise you to go for surgery. It is also the quickest option to get rid of this. 

black line on nail

This is everything you need to know about the mysterious black line on nail. All these causes and treatments might vary and can be more than one reason also. If you need a hack then you can paint your nails to just hide it from everyone. 

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