There are several things that can cause changes in the color of the nails, and some of them require medical evaluation. The doctors
who will be well qualified to discuss this issue include your primary care doctor
or your dermatologist
. By far the most common cause of changes in the color of nails in healthy individuals is trauma. When the nail is traumatized, blood can leak out from the tissue and collect in the nail bed. This can cause pain and discoloration. However, in the absence of discomfort and a history of trauma, this is less likely. Another very common cause of nail color changes is a fungal infection. Fungal infections of the nails can begin quite insidiously, but eventually result in changes in color of the nail as well as distortion and thickening of the nail itself. Most will require treatment with oral antifungal agents as prescribed by your doctor. Occasionally, melanoma, which is a serious form of skin cancer, can present as a dark spot under the nail. For this reason, most new spots should be checked out by a doctor. As always, the diagnosis and the management of your particular condition will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Scheduling an office visit with your primary care doctor or your dermatologist is recommended.