The condition of your toenails is something everyone needs to pay more attention to. Bacterial and fungal infections can cause color, texture, and odor changes to toenails. If you notice light or dark stripes, it may be a sign of nutritional problems or systemic health issues like diabetes or peripheral artery disease. There are even some cancers that can grow hidden in the nail bed, so be sure to see your foot doctor to catch problems before they spread.

Toenail anomalies that can be an indication of other health issues may include the following:

  • Fine stripes running across the nail—Darkening stripes running across your toenail could be the indication of a potentially malignant cancer that grows under the nail. A series of white stripes can be a sign of kidney or liver disease, or not getting enough protein.
  • Texture and odor changes—Thickening and brittle toenails may be infected with a fungus. If you notice a strong odor emanating from the nail then you likely have a severe fungal toenail infection that needs to be treated by your foot doctor with a laser.
  • Black, green, and yellowing toenails—Toenails can become black and green in response to an injury to the toe or foot. Yellowing of the toenail may be a sign of a skin condition like psoriasis or may be caused by thyroid issues. Chemicals in nail polish or removers can also cause color changes.

If you notice changes in the color or texture of your toenails, be sure to have a checkup with your foot doctor for the proper diagnosis and 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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