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Talon noir: Dark discoloration on heel without symptoms

  1. A talon noir is a harmless, asymptomatic, trauma-induced darkened area of ​​skin normally located at the back or back-side of the heel. Other symptoms do not occur with this darkened skin lesion. A talon noir is a relatively benign condition that may mimic melanoma or other conditions and therefore often presents a diagnostic dilemma. Treatment is not strictly necessary, but it is possible. A talon noir was first described in the medical literature by doctors Crissey and Peachey in 1961.

Risk factors: Stop and start exercising

  1. Often the basis of this trauma lies in playing a sport in which the patient has to stop and start a lot. Examples of such sports are basketball, cross-country skiing, tennis

Sites of footpad disease

  1. A talon noir is situated on the heel. Other reported sites are metatarsal bones, palms (palmar petechiae, tache noir), conjunctiva

Symptoms: Dark discoloration on heel

  1. A patient has a dark spot on the back or otherwise the back-side of the heel (hyperpigmentation

Diagnosis and investigations

  1. The diagnosis of a Talon Noir is usually easy to make. A thorough dermoscopic diagnosis of any black spot is necessary to rule out acral lentiginous melanoma (a form of skin cancer). Sometimes the doctor also performs a biopsy


  1. If necessary, the physician cuts the stratum corneum (horny layer of the skin) to expose and remove the hemorrhagic material. In case of melanoma (form of skin cancer caused by long-term exposure to the harmful UV rays of sunlight)

Black skin lesion prognosis

  1. A black spot on the heel after trauma is a harmless, self-healing process with an excellent prognosis.

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