Is It Toe Fungus, Or Is It Something Else?
Toenails come in all different shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. And many disorders and conditions can affect the nails.
The difficulty lies in determining if it is nail fungus or something entirely different.
It is critical to diagnose yourself properly so you can get the right type of treatment right away. The most common questions and misconceptions about toenail fungus are:
Why are there dark spots under my toenails?
This is usually a sign of blood under the toenail. You might see that if your nail has been injured from getting crushed by something heavy, pinched, or hit with a hard object. A runner or gym enthusiast may have this condition on the nails as well.
Why do I see ridges or white spots on my nails?
Ridges may indicate a deficiency in nutrition. Sometimes, the deficiency may be iron. White spots are also typically a nutrition deficiency which may be calcium or zinc.
Why do I have ingrown toenails?
Ingrown toenails, or the nail growing into the skin, can occur due to several factors. The most common cause is injury to the nail from pressure. This could be when you stubbed your toe on the corner of the table (ouch!) or someone steps on your foot.
Athletes wearing improper shoes may also get ingrown toenails. When ingrown nail is due to injury, you may also see redness around the toe.
A final and important cause of ingrown nails is a fungal toenail infection. The nail may also fall off and attempt to re-grow itself.
Why are my toenails soft and break easily?
This may be due to a deficiency in keratin. Increasing intake of protein can resolve the problem. Other potential causes could be reaction to a chemical (such as acetone – what you use to remove nail polish) or anemia (deficiency of red blood cells).
Why do my toenails crack?
Vertical cracks down the nail could indicate psoriasis (an autoimmune disorder) presenting itself in the nails or a thyroid condition.
What causes black toenails?
You may have black nails on the toes due to trauma to the toenail from injury or accident. The trauma could be getting crushed or smashed by a heavy object or even stubbed on something hard. Athletes may also see trauma to the nail from tight shoes or constant rubbing from shoes.
Toenail fungus infection is also a prominent cause of black toenails and occurs because of debris under the toenail.
Finally, and rarely, black nails are caused by melanoma (tumors from cancer under the nail).
Why do I have thick, crumbly yellow toenails?
This is a sign of toenail fungus. Toe fungus infections typically start as a small yellow or white area on the nail and if untreated can escalate and cover the whole nail.
These infections can also be painful and extremely uncomfortable for the sufferer. If you think you have toenail fungus, go here for toenail fungus cures that really work.