If you’re beginning to notice some issues with your toenails, you should consider your treatment options before the issues worsen.
The main purpose of your toenails is to provide protection for your toes. When these toenails start being affected by issues like nail fungus and nail trauma, the nails will no longer be able to protect your toes like they’re supposed to.
There is a wide range of reasons as to why your nails can start experiencing issues, which extend from friction that’s caused by your shoes to exposure to moisture and heat.
Primary Nail Problems You Could Be Affected By
While there are many problems that could effect your toenails, the main nail problems to look out for include toenail fungus, ingrown toenails, and toenail trauma. Toenail fungus is a very common nail condition that’s most prevalent among individuals who are 70 years old or older. This condition begins with the development of a small spot just underneath the front of the toenail. This spot is usually yellow or white in color. If you don’t tend to this problem immediately, the fungus will continue to spread, which will invariably cause the affected toenail to thicken and become discolored. These nails can also start to fall apart as the condition progresses. Over time, it’s possible for the fungus to spread to surrounding toes.
Ingrown toenails are relatively common as well and can be surprisingly painful. This condition results from the corner of your toenail growing directly into your flesh, which can create a variety of problems until the condition has been treated and the nail properly heals.
As for toenail trauma, this refers to any kind of impact injury to the toe that has affected the nail. This type of trauma can also lead to the development of a subungual hematoma, which occurs when blood pools underneath the nail. Each of these nail problems can cause significant problems with your health if you don’t have them diagnosed and treated early on.
Symptoms of Nail Problems
If you feel as though you might be suffering from toenail fungus, look for any yellow or white discoloration below the toenail. Other symptoms of toenail fungus occur when the toenail smells poorly, becomes brittle, is misshapen, or thickens. When taking a look at ingrown toenails, the primary symptom with this condition is high amounts of pain just beside the rest of your toenail. This pain will worsen when you touch the sensitive area. Redness and swelling are also common until the condition has been treated.
When the ingrown nail is at its worst, it’s possible for pus to start leaking from the injured toenail. The symptoms associated with toenail trauma are numerous and depend on the type of trauma that’s occurred. The primary symptoms include pain, the presence of dark red spots below the nail, a torn nail, bleeding, and discoloration. When you’ve suffered from a trauma to your toenail, it’s important that the injury site is treated quickly to keep the effects of the trauma from worsening.
Causes for Main Nail Problems
Understanding the causes of these nail problems may help you avoid them in the future. Toenail fungus is particularly common among people who walk barefoot in areas where other individuals with toenail fungus have been, which includes locker rooms and pools. In order to survive, fungi typically need to be in a damp and darkened environment, which means that you need to avoid wearing boots or shoes that are sweaty or have recently been in rain.
The causes of an ingrown toenail include cutting the toenails in a curve, having particularly large toenails, suffering from a separate injury to the toenail, or cutting the toenails shorter than you’re supposed to. As for toenail trauma, the causes for this condition are practically endless. These injuries can occur by stubbing one of your toes, wearing shoes that don’t fit properly, picking at your nails, and dropping a heavy object on your foot.
Treating Nail Problems
The treatments that are used for nail problems are determined by the extent of your injury and the type of problem that you’re suffering from. If you’re suffering from a toenail fungus, the most successful treatment option involves taking anti-fungal pills that are prescribed to you. Doing so will help the fungus to disappear complete in anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months. If you’re unable to get rid of the ingrown nail yourself, your nail could be lifted or removed, which can be either a partial or complete removal depending on the severity of the ingrown nail. Minor toenail trauma usually calls for medication. Severe trauma may require surgery.