Black heel, or calcaneal petechiae, is a trauma-induced darkening of the back or sides of the heel. Dermatologists often see black heel in adolescent and young adult athletes.
Sometimes called talon noir, black heel is painless and harmless. It is most often seen in players who engage in active sports such as basketball football, lacrosse and tennis. These sports require repetitive quick starts and stops and the pounding action of the foot hitting the ground or other hard surfaces can cause heel injury.
Although the condition is not painful, the dark plaque can resemble malignant melanoma, a serious form of skin cancer.
The condition is not harmful and resolves on its own once the activity that is causing the trauma stops.