If you’re embarrassed to wear sandals because of unsightly toenails, your first thought may be to schedule a pedicure. However, painting over discolored or misshapen toenails will merely hide the problem without actually treating it. For an accurate diagnosis with followup foot care, you need to skip the manicurist and make an appointment with a podiatrist instead. In the meantime, here is what your toenails may be trying to tell you.
If They Change Color
Healthy toenails should be pale pink in color, much like healthy fingernails. Any hint of yellowing could be indicative of a fungal infection. If your toenails look pink but have small white spots scattered across them, it could be a sign of a developing fungal infection. Fortunately, early intervention by a podiatrist can combat the issue and restore healthy nails.
Toenail discoloration may also be a side effect of smoking or a sign of a pancreas or liver condition. And if you’ve ever injured your foot, you probably already know that black or dark purple nails are typically the result of forceful impacts. Other health conditions like arthritis, cancer, anemia, and kidney disease can affect the toenails, as well, so if anything looks off, visit your doctor for a comprehensive exam.
If They Change Shape
Toenails should be relatively smooth and flat. If they develop noticeable grooves or pits, it could be a sign of psoriasis. Other causes of pitting include alopecia, malnutrition, and respiratory illness. Any noticeable indentations also warrant a trip to the doctor. People might develop spoon-shaped toenails if they have lupus, an iron deficiency, or Raynaud’s disease. Likewise, nails that curve downward and cover the tops of the toes may be indicative of an underlying health condition.
If your toenails are discolored or misshapen, it is wise to visit a podiatrist as soon as possible. For quality care from a friendly foot doctor who has seen it all, turn to Choice Podiatry Associates. Out of their three convenient locations in Cincinnati, OH, they offer everything from surgery and orthotics to wart removal and diabetic wound care. Visit their website to find the office nearest you, and then call to make an appointment. To see a podiatrist at 7721 Montgomery Rd., call (513) 984-1911. You can reach someone at 4455 Bridgetown Rd. by calling (513) 574-2424. Or, meet with a provider at 9443 Reading Rd. by calling (513) 563-2225.