Ever wonder why your toenail is lifting from your toe or why it fell off? Of the many reasons causing nail lifting, trauma is the most common. Examples of trauma include dropping an object on the toe or kicking a hard object. Another common cause of nail injury occurs when your toe repeatedly hits the front of your shoe while walking. After the nail is injured, it will typically turn black and blue or fall off.
Fungus is another culprit that causes changes to your toenails. Just like athlete’s foot, fungus likes to grow on the skin underneath the nail. As the fungus grows it can separate the nail from the toe’s skin. As this progresses, the toenail lifts from the rest of the toe leading to pain or discomfort. The easiest treatment is to have your podiatrist trim the excess nail and remove the lifted aspect. Podiatrists can also provide other medication recommendations to help treat the fungus.
Less common causes of the toenail lifting are bone spurs or cancer. Bone spurs can develop from the bones located in the toe. These typically cause the middle of the nail to lift more than at the edge. This causes pain to occur in the middle of the nail. This condition is easily diagnosed by your podiatrist with use of x-rays. Other causes of nail change can be cancerous. Your podiatrist is best equipped to diagnose your nail changes. Many times a sample of the nail must be sent to the lab for testing. If you notice your nail starting to detach or turn color, it is best to seek care from your podiatrist. Nail changes sometimes point to larger health concerns which your podiatrist is trained to detect.
If you or someone you know is experiencing pain in their feet, the doctors at Coastal Podiatry Associates are available to help. The doctors have received extensive training in all aspects of the foot and can help you return to normal activity. To determine the best course of treatment contact our office at 843-449-FOOT (3668) or visit our website at www.coastalpodiatry.com.