Toenail Problems

Top 3 Common Toenail Problems

Most people do not give much thought to toenail problems. Just clip them each week and, for most, they are a pretty maintenance free part of the anatomy. For others, toenail problems are annoying and persistent.

Below are brief descriptions of three of the most common such problems.

Thick Toenails

If you notice that your toenails are thick and/or brittle, this is not something that you should ignore. There are many possible reasons for thick toenails, and many of those reasons require medical attention.

For example, thick toenails can be the result of a medical condition such as diabetes or a vascular condition. Other possible causes include:



Wearing shoes that are too tight

No matter the cause, seeing a doctor as soon as possible is important. It is also possible for the thick toenails to eventually fall off even if the underlying cause is not treated.

Black Toenails

When you have a black toenail, it is usually the result of bruising beneath the nail bed.

This type of bruising happens much in the same way as bruising on any other part of the body. Sometimes, this bruising takes place when the toe has been fractured or broken. Since the only way to rule that out is through diagnostic imaging, it is a good idea to pay a visit to your doctor if you have bruising beneath the nail bed and the toe is sensitive or painful.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are one of the most common toenail problems. This happens when the toenail grows into the skin. An ingrown toenail can be the result of not properly trimming your nails. This could include:

Failing to trim them

Trimming them too far down

Ingrown toenails will cause pain, especially when any type of pressure is applied to it. You should make an appointment to see your doctor if you suspect an ingrown toenail.

If left untreated, infections and other complications can occur. If the toe becomes red, hot to the touch or you notice any pus, you should see your doctor right away.

Proper Toenail Care

Many toenail problems can be prevented by practicing proper foot care.

You should always make sure that your feet are clean. As much as possible, keep your feet free of moisture. For example, after working out at the gym, remove your workout shoes, dry your feet and put on fresh socks and shoes.

Keeping your nails trimmed is another important part of avoiding toenail problems. Failing to trim your toenails can lead to ingrown toenails which, as mentioned above, can be quite painful.

Also, you should be sure that the shoes you are wearing are the correct size. Many people have not checked their shoe size in years. If you haven’t, stop by a local shoe store and ask to be properly measured.

Many toenail problems can be prevented, but none of them should be ignored. Most toenail problems are the result of an underlying illness or injury and some can lead to further complications. If you are unsure about the seriousness of your toenail problem, it is better to err on the side of caution and visit your doctor.