Toenail problems are pretty common, and there are a variety of treatment options available. If you notice any abnormality in your toenails such that you experience signs of infection, such as redness, severe pain, or drainage of pus, please contact Dr. Tea for an evaluation.
Your toenails can reveal a lot about your overall health and provide the first sign of systemic disease. The most common toenail problems include:
Ingrown toenails curve and grow into the nail borders (the sides of the nail). They often irritate the skin, creating pain, redness, swelling, and warmth in the toes.
Any break in the skin due to ingrown toenails may become a hotbed for bacteria and result in an infection. Infection is often marked by drainage and a foul odor.
Causes of Ingrown Toenails
Causes of ingrown toenails include:
Treatment for ingrown toenails depends on the condition of the nail. In case of infection, oral antibiotics may be prescribed.
Other treatment options include the following:
The system is versatile, allowing your foot care expert to adapt the system individually and affix it to your nail. Onyfix uses a hardened composite to help ingrown or involuted toenails grow back to their natural shape through normal growth without any tension or pain.
Follow these tips to prevent ingrown toenails:
Toenail fungus is a common condition that can affect people of any age. Fungal infections can grow in toenails because fungi thrive in warm, moist environments, such as the insides of your shoes.
You may have toenail fungus if your:
Toenail fungus can spread from one toe to another and surrounding skin.
Toenail fungus can be caused by:
Toenail fungus can be challenging to treat, and it can take several months for the fungal infection to go away completely. Treatment options may include prescription creams or ointments, oral medications, removal of the toenail to treat the nail bed underneath, or laser therapy.
There are steps you can take to prevent toenail fungus, including:
Patients with diabetes should properly manage their blood sugar levels, as they are at high risk for toenail fungus.
Trauma to your toenail usually results from some form of injury, such as stubbing your toes, dropping something heavy onto your foot, wearing ill-fitting shoes, and picking at your nails. Other traumatic injuries to the toenail may result from a poorly done pedicure or from activities such as running or ballet dancing.
Any significant trauma to the toenail is bound to result in pain or throbbing. Some people may also experience some bleeding or a collection of blood under the toenail.
Other symptoms may include:
Sometimes injuries to the toe could also cause the toenail to separate completely or partially from the nail bed or cause injury to the underlying bone.
Treatment for toenail trauma depends on the type of injury and can include surgery and /or oral or topical medication.
Clubbed toenails refer to changes under and around the toenails that cause the toes to take on a widened, club-like appearance.
Clubbed toenails are often the result of underlying medical conditions, such as heart disease, lung disease, gastrointestinal disorders, and cancer. For some people, it is an inherited trait.
Symptoms of clubbed nails may include:
Treatment for clubbed nails requires treating the underlying medical condition.
There are several causes for thick toenails, including toenail fungus, psoriasis, type 1 or 2 diabetes, sudden or repeated trauma or injury to the toenails due to sports activities (e.g., running, dancing, etc.), as well as ill-fitting shoes.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that usually causes red, scaly patches on the skin. It can also cause fingernails and toenails to thicken. If psoriasis is the cause of your nail thickness, you are likely to develop ridges on the nails, and the nails may become loose and separate from the nail bed.
Additionally, aging can cause your toenails to thicken.
Over time as the toenails get thicker, you might start experiencing some symptoms, such as:
Thick toenails may also change in appearance by taking on a yellow, green, or brown hue and start looking gnarly or have some scaling on the surface.
If thick toenails are left untreated, they can get worse and cause pain. It is, therefore, important to seek medical advice when you notice any discoloration or thickening of the nails. There may be some underlying medical conditions causing these issues that need to be addressed.
The treatment for thick toenails depends on its cause. Your doctor will look at your medical history and examine your nails to determine the appropriate treatment.
For instance, if nail thickening is due to psoriasis, your doctor may prescribe additional medication or recommend topical steroids or injections to help the nails heal.