Toenail Problems

Toenail Problems

Toenail problems may just be unsightly or they can occasionally be painful. Some toenail problems result from injury such as friction from shoes or being physically bumped or hit with an object, but others are caused by fungus or medical conditions. Discoloration is often a sign of a problem, but pain is certainly the most concerning symptom.

Common Toenail Problems:


Toenail fungus is one of the most common and unsightly nail problems caused by trapped moisture. At first, white spots will appear on the nail. As the fungus spreads, the nail can become white or yellow and the discoloration will spread across the entire nail. The nail will also thicken and become more difficult to trim. The problem can spread from one toe to another. A bad odor may also be prevalent with toenail fungus – it may occur when a patient has athlete’s foot, also resulting from fungal infection.

The infection may begin by transmission in a common area such as a locker room or public shower, but also occurs when feet become sweaty or when working in wet shoes. Wearing flip flops in public places can help you to avoid coming in contact with infected surfaces.

Individuals suffering from diabetes are more prone to contracting fungal infections.

Keeping feet clean and dry will help to prevent contracting this condition. There are also oral medications available for treatment.

Fungal infections can be cured with Noveon laser treatments, available at Mayfair Foot Care.

Ingrown Toenails

This painful condition is most often caused by ill fitting shoes. When the corner of a toenail grows into the skin of the toe, the result is usually swelling and pain that can make walking and wearing shoes very difficult. When infected, ingrown toenails may cause the area to fill with pus.

Your physician may recommend trimming your toenails straight across to avoid having the end of the nail grow into your toe.

If the infection becomes painful, your physician may opt to remove the toenail.

Clubbed Toenails

This condition appears as a widening of the nails and is often associated with a medical condition. Depending on the cause, it may develop over a long period of time.

Clubbed toenails appear wide and round, curved downward and with the toenail tip bulging. The nails are curved upwards like inverted cups rather than flattened.


Toenails can change color from less harmful causes such as nail polish or shoe dye. Some medications can change the color of your nails. If the cause is resolved, the problem will go away when the nail grows out.

Nail-Patella Syndrome

Nail-patella syndrome is a rare condition manifested by underdeveloped or missing finger and toenails. This condition is caused by a genetic mutation. People with this condition can also has malformed knees and elbows.


Leukonychia is another condition involving discoloration. The nails will usually appear white and have streaks. The degree of white streaks in the nail results from the formation of the keratin, the composition that makes up the nail. White streaks in the nails may be caused by medical conditions or the individual’s diet.

No matter the cause, pain and infection are both reasons to consult with a physician.