The Condition of Your Toenails Can Reveal Health Problems


The color and texture of your toenails is something you should really pay more attention to. Major problems like nutritional deficiencies, systemic diseases such as diabetes, and peripheral artery disease can display signs in your toenails. Malignant melanoma can cause discoloration under your toenails.

Oftentimes symptoms of systemic problems show up in your feet first. Bacterial and fungal infections can also cause changes to the color and texture of your toenails, so be sure to see your foot doctor for a proper evaluation.

Toenail problems that can point to other health issues include the following:

  1. Colored stripes going across the toenail—Darkened stripes going across your toenails is one sign of a potentially malignant cancer that grows in the nail bed. Light colored stripes can be indicative of kidney and liver disease, poor nutrition, or inadequate protein in the diet.

  2. Thick, brittle, and smelly toenails—Thick and brittle toenails that emit an unpleasant odor may be infected with a fungus. Using strong chemicals like acetone that is found in nail polish removers can also damage the toenails.  A yellowing toenail may be a sign of psoriasis or a thyroid condition.

  3. Black, yellow, and green toenails—Toenails can turn black and green in response to an injury like stubbing your toe, or it can be a sign of a microbial infection. Nail polishes and removers that contain strong chemicals can also cause discoloration of the toenail.

 If the color or texture of your toenails has you concerned, be sure to have them checked by your foot doctor for the proper diagnosis and treatment. Call Achilles Foot and Ankle Surgery, PC located in Martins Ferry, Ohio and St. Clairsville, Ohio, as well as Wheeling West Virginia. With access to advanced technologies, Dr. Bruce G. Blank and his staff can help you manage all of your foot and ankle conditions including heel pain, ankle sprains, toe deformities, fungal toenails, and plantar warts. Call 740-633-4188 or make an appointment online today.