Changes to the color and texture of your toenails can have a wide variety of causes ranging from complications of diabetes to microbial incursions like a fungal toenail infection. Since systemic problems like peripheral artery disease and thyroid conditions can show signs in your feet first, see your foot doctor to get the best care.

Toenail changes that may indicate other health issues include the following:

  • Stripes across the nail—Darkened stripes that run across your toenails may be an indication of a certain type of skin cancer that grows in the toenail bed. White striping may be a sign of nutrient deficiencies, liver disease, and low protein levels.
  • Texture changes—Your toenails may become very thick and brittle. This can be caused by chemicals such as those in some household cleaners or even from the acetone in nail polish removers. A thick, yellowing toenail that also emits a strong odor may be infected with fungus. Texture changes can also occur due to thyroid problems and advancing skin conditions like psoriasis.
  • Color changes—Toenails can turn green or black as a result of traumatic injury. Bacterial and fungal infections can also cause color changes. Certain medications like antibiotics may also cause fluctuations in toenail color.

If you are concerned about the color and texture of your toenails, see your foot doctor to determine the cause and to get the proper treatment. Dr. Scott Nelson of Foot and Ankle Medical Clinic in Garland, TX (county of Dallas), is a board-certified and highly experienced podiatrist who has helped people suffering from all types of foot and ankle injuries and deformities. From bunions to diabetic foot problems, sports injuries, and fungal nails, you can trust that Dr. Nelson and his staff are wholeheartedly devoted to your foot health. Please contact our office with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment by calling 972-414-9800.

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