Blackened Toenails, Ingrown Nails, Nail Fungus, Thickened Nails are a few of the many podiatry related problems we solve here at Westside Podiatry Clinic. Scroll down to learn more about the above issues related to nails.
A black, purple or brownish discoloration under or involving a toenail is frequently due to trauma to the toenail, such as when something is dropped on the toe. The color results from a blood clot or bleeding under the nail and may involve the entire nail or just a small portion of it. This can be very painful when the entire nail is involved and may need medical attention to relieve the pressure caused by bleeding under the toenail.
When a toenail is ingrown, it is curved and grows into the skin, usually at the nail borders (the sides of the nail). This digging in of the nail irritates the skin, often creating pain, redness, swelling, and warmth in the toe.
If an ingrown nail causes a break in the skin, bacteria may enter and cause an infection in the area, which is often marked by drainage and a foul odor. However, even if the toe is not painful, red, swollen or warm, a nail that curves downward into the skin can progress to an infection.
A fungus is an organism that lives in warm moist areas. Fungus of the toenails is a common problem that can affect people of all ages, although it most commonly affects individuals who are older.
Toenail fungus often begins as an infection in the skin called tinea pedis (also known as athlete’s foot). The fungus often starts under the nail fold at the end of the nail. Over time, it grows underneath the nail and causes changes to its appearance, such as a yellow or brownish discoloration. It can also cause thickening and deformity of the toenail.
Many people have difficulty with their toenails and need assistance in caring for them. A foot and ankle surgeon can diagnose the cause of toenail problems and can recommend treatments.
Toenails will often become thick as an individual grows older. Thickening may also occur as a result of trauma to the toenail, such as when it repeatedly hits the end of a shoe that is too short. Sometimes when something is dropped on the toenail, the nail will fall off. When a new toenail grows back, it will often be thicker than it was previously.
Thick toenails can also be seen in individuals with nail fungus (onychomycosis), psoriasis and hypothyroidism. Those who have problems with the thickness of their toenails should consult a foot and ankle surgeon for proper diagnosis and treatment.