Common Toenail Problems
Toenails might not serve as much actual use as they did once upon a time, but these biological features still exist and, unfortunately, can be the source of several potential problems, including:
- Ingrown toenails – When nails become ingrown, it is often the result of tight shoes, improper nail trimming practices, physical trauma, or an unusually curved nail structure. Most cases are treated with conservative practices, but nails that continually become ingrown may need to be partially removed.
- Toenail fungus – Fungal toenails are easily recognized as being abnormally brittle, thickened, and discolored. The offensive fungus thrives in damp environments and is often found in gym locker rooms, pool decks, and showering areas.
- Black toenails – This particular condition can be quite common for long-distance runners, especially those who wear shoes that are too tight. Often, but not always, black toenails develop when the nailbed bruises or blood pools between it and the nail. In rare cases, a black toenail is an indication of malignant melanoma.
The good news about these toenail issues is that simple prevention methods can greatly lower the risk of them. These include keeping feet dry, wearing sandals or shower shoes on pool decks and in locker rooms, and wearing shoes that fit correctly.