Your Overall Health is Reflected in the Condition of Your Toenails

Your feet are often one of the first places to show signs of other problems with your health. For example, peripheral neuropathy from diabetes often first exhibits numbness and tingling in the feet. Your toenails are another harbinger of a possible health problem. Nutrient deficiencies, kidney disease, and liver problems can all show symptoms in your toenails.

Signals in your toenails that indicate you may be developing other health problems include the following:

  • Your toenails become thicker and crumbly—Having brittle and crumbling toenails may be caused by chemical exposure.  However, there are several conditions that can also cause these changes in your toenails such as a fungal toenail infection, a thyroid condition, or bacterial incursion.
  • Dark or white lines run across the toenails—Distinct white lines running across your toenails may be due to a protein or other nutrient deficiency. Dark lines or spots could be a sign of aggressive skin cancer that grows under the nail bed, so see your foot doctor.
  • Black or green toenail coloration—A toenail can turn black after a stubbing or other injury. It can also turn dark green due to the side effects of antibiotics and other medications.

If you are experiencing texture changes and discoloration in your toenails, see your foot doctor for the proper diagnosis and care. At Your Next Step, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies, along with years of experience, to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including sports injuries, joint pain, toe deformities, nail fungus, chronic tendon pain, and skin problems. Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich, and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen provide high-quality foot and ankle care to patients in the greater Philadelphia area at our offices conveniently located in Ardmore, Paoli, and Downingtown, PA. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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