Your toenails are often both physically and mentally the furthest thing from your mind! But that’s no reason to neglect them when it comes to caring for your feet. Your toenails are important indicators of your overall health, so keeping a watchful eye out for changes in their texture or color can help avoid a worsening of the conditions and the corresponding increase of pain and discomfort.
Two of the most common toenail troubles that you should check for regularly are:
Fungal toenails—If you suspect that one or more of your toenails have become thicker and more brittle at the edges with yellowing or coloration changes, you may have a toenail fungus infection. The fungi that cause this infection are microscopic and are the same ones that cause athlete’s foot infection. They can easily be contracted from public locations including pools, gyms, and showers. The little critters love the warm, moist environment inside your socks and shoes. Nail fungus can be hard to completely eliminate since it grows under the nail and evades treatment. Aggressive treatments by your podiatrist may be necessary to completely eradicate the growths and keep them from proliferating.
Painful ingrown toenails—When the edge of the nail pushes under the skin creating a cut, the swelling, pain, and possible infection that result in the soft tissue at the edge of the nail can make you cringe. This infection can worsen and spread to the adjacent bone, possibly leading to a gangrenous infection requiring amputation. This is especially true for patients with diabetes who may not feel any pain from the ingrown nail due to nerve damage. Incorporate daily foot inspections into your routine and, with regular visits to your podiatrist, you can nip toenail trouble in the bud.
If you need assistance treating an ingrown toenail or fungal nail infection, contact your foot specialist. Dr. Scott Nelson of Foot and Ankle Medical Clinic in Garland, TX, 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.