All things considered, toenails are street fighter and tend to hold up well. That ‘s thanks to keratin, the baffling protein they ( and the top layer of your skin ) are made of. You may even forget they ‘re there—until a problem crops up .

Your toenails confront a capital cover of tension every day. They rub against shoes, become stub, and can be exposed to bacteria and fungus. This can cause the smash to thicken, discolor, or break down. It can besides cause discomfort and infection.

This article provides an overview of the three most common toe problems, a well as their symptoms, causes, and treatment options .


Click Play to Learn More About Damaged Toenails

This video has been medically reviewed by Casey Gallagher, MD.

Toenail Fungus

Fungal infection of the toes
daizuoxin / Getty Images
Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, is a slow-growing infection of the complete and bark below it .

fungal infections normally occur underneath the breeze through and get down at the end of the nail, where it gets trimmed .

Toenail Fungus Symptoms

The most common changes that occur with toe fungal infections include :

  • An increase in white debris beneath the nail
  • Crumbling
  • Discoloration beneath the nail (usually brown, white, or yellow)
  • Loosening or separation of the infected part of the nail from the nail bed
  • Thickening of the nail

Less frequently, an infection can appear as a white, powdery discoloration on exceed of the nail .

Causes of Fungal Infections

Toenail fungal infections are normally caused by the lapp character of fungi that cause athlete ‘s foot. In fact, people who are prone to athlete ‘s infantry may besides be susceptible to toenail fungal infections .

Toenail fungus can affect anyone, but it becomes more prevailing with historic period .

Individuals with certain diseases, such as diabetes and conditions that affect limb circulation, are more susceptible to fungal collar infections as well. So are people who have suppressed immune systems .

other risk factors include :

  • Frequent fungal skin infections
  • hyperhidrosis, or a tendency toward sweaty feet
  • Wearing closed shoes for long periods of time (fungi thrive in moist, dark, and warm environments)
  • Trauma to the nail

Treating Toenail Fungus

treatment at a foot specialist ( chiropodist ) ‘s office will probably involve debridement. This is the process of trimming down the breeze through to remove thick areas and relieve discomfort that may occur with shoe wear. debridement may besides improve the potency of topical treatments .

oral fungicidal medications ( taken by mouth ) and/or prescription-strength topical treatments ( applied to the peel ) may besides be prescribed. however, oral fungicidal medicines are not always an option for many people due to their likely side effects and cost .

There are a number of nonprescription topical medications for toe fungus. however, since the fungus resides cryptic in the pinpoint and underneath it, these medications have limited achiever in treating toenail fungus. This is particularly dependable if it has spread importantly throughout the breeze through .

The good news is that other fungal smash treatments are available, including laser treatment that has been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) for this determination.


Toenail fungus is a slow-growing infection of the nail and skin below it. Podiatrists frequently treat it by trimming the collar and remove thickened areas.

Ingrown Toenail

Ingrown toenail
Ilia Anatolev / Getty Images
An ingrowing toe occurs when the boundary of the toe, normally the boastful toe, grows into the bark next to it ( called the lateral nail congregation ) .

Ingrown Toenail Symptoms

An ingrowing toenail causes pain at the english of the toe, along with swelling. It may become infect, which can trigger redness, more swell, pain, heat, and/or discharge .

note that the ingrowing character of the smash is normally spiritual world because it is below the bark .

Causes of an Ingrown Toenail

Factors that increase a person ‘s luck of developing an ingrowing toe include :

  • A family history of ingrown toenails
  • Abnormal toe shape
  • Advancing age
  • Fungal infections
  • Health problems like poor leg circulation or lung disease
  • Improperly fitting shoes or socks 
  • Nail trauma
  • Toenails that are clipped too short

Treating an Ingrown Toenail

treatment for an ingrowing toenail can be performed at home unless there is a intuition of an infection or if you have a medical condition, such as diabetes, heart damage, or poor people circulation. then a chiropodist should take the conduct .

The first tone for at-home care is to soak your foot in an Epsom salt solution using room-temperature water. then massage the side of your collar gently to decrease ignition .

Be sure to not cut your toe and consider wearing open shoes like sandals until the problem resolves .

In addition, you may have to take a closer look at the fit and form of your shoes and socks to see if they ‘re causing the trouble. They may be excessively tight. The health of your feet, not manner, should guide your shop .

If your healthcare supplier suspects an infection, you may need an antibiotic. In addition, the supplier might have to remove part of or your entire toenail to ease the inflammation.


An ingrowing toe occurs when the edge of the toenail, normally the big one, grows into the skin future to it. It can uncomfortable, but can normally be addressed with an Epsom salt soak.

Toenail Trauma

Toenail hematoma
Photosvit / Getty Images
trauma to the toe can be chronic or occur as a consequence of an acute injury .

Toenail Trauma Symptoms

Toenails grow from a center field area below the skin known as the matrix. It is connected to the rake vessel and nerve-rich smash bed beneath it .

injury to the matrix can result in a number of possible changes to the nail, including bruising beneath the toe, toenail thicken, and toe loss .


Click Play to Learn More About Bruised Toenails

This video has been medically reviewed by Casey Gallagher, MD .

Causes of Toenail Trauma

Toenail trauma may happen because of repetitive rub against a brake shoe when walk or run. It may be that your new shoes are besides tight or loose, which can lead to more friction against your toe .

trauma can besides be the result of a sudden wound, such as stubbing your toe or dropping an object on it .

Toenail trauma can result in a secondary bacterial or fungal infection if any separate of the collar becomes unleash. This can lead to the night stain of the toenail. Acute trauma may besides result in a fracture of the bone beneath the complete, to which the breeze through is in close proximity .

It ‘s best to have any toe color changes or toenail loosen evaluated by a chiropodist or other healthcare provider. Although infrequent, black or brown discoloration could be a signal of skin cancer melanoma .

Treating Toenail Trauma

Having a thick or otherwise damaged toenail removed surgically will probably not result in a healthier breeze through grow in its place. once a collar ‘s matrix is damaged, it normally continues to produce a thickened or disfigured nail down .


Toenail trauma can lead to discomfort, nail color changes, and infection. It could be ascribable to an obvious cause, like dropping something on the toe, or even constant rub of the toe against your brake shoe.


Toenail fungus, ingrowing toenail, and toe trauma are three of the most coarse toe problems. Each one can be traced to respective causes, which in call on leads to varying treatment options .

The adept news is that, in most cases, you do n’t have to live with a toenail problem any longer than you care to. Most of the treatment options are simple and square .

A Word From Verywell

If you have a toe problem, you may feel embarrassed by its appearance—maybe sol much so that you put off seeing a healthcare supplier .

While your toenail issue may have a simple explanation that resolves on its own in short order, it could besides be a sign of an underlie health offspring. only a sojourn to your healthcare provider can clear this up .

Remember that they are there to help—and the preferably an issue is caught, the better luck there likely is to address it efficaciously.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What causes a toenail to turn black?

    Bleeding underneath the nail, or subungual hematoma, frequently causes an integral complete or a small depart of one to look black or darkened. A black toe can besides be caused by something more serious, such as hide cancer.

  • Why do fungal infections on my toenails keep coming back?

    Some attest suggests that certain people may have a familial predisposition to nail fungus infections. perennial cases may besides occur in people who have weakened immune systems. They can besides be a sign of diabetes, due to compromise blood flow to the feet .

reference :
Category : Nail center

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *