Get Answers on Toenail and Foot Skin Conditions in our FAQ
What causes plantar warts? What kinds of shoes can ease the pain of a corn? How can I treat an ingrown toenail at home? Our podiatrists answer the most common questions asked by our patients, helping you get relief for a foot skin and nail condition as soon as possible.
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I just exercised in a new pair of shoes. Now, part of my big toenail is turning black and coming loose. What should I do?
The sudden black discoloration is likely due to trauma to the nail bed that causes bleeding beneath the nail. The trauma is normally due to repetitive stress to the nail from a tight gym shoe. If the nail is loose or more than 50% of the nail is black, it is best to visit a podiatrist.
I keep getting ingrown toenails, is this because I am not cutting my nails straight across?
The most common reason people experience recurrent ingrown toenails is due to the shape of the big toe and the underlying bone position. Other factors that increase frequent ingrown nails are ill-fitting shoes. Make sure to keep your toenails at a healthy length and cut the nail with a very slight curve.
I have been treating my toenail fungus but have yet to see results. Why is this?
Toenail fungus is notoriously hard to cure. Both oral and OTC anti-fungal medications take time to reach the fungus under the nail where it lives. Also, once the medication kills the fungus, it won’t improve the look of the infected nail right away. As the new, healed nail grows out, the thick, discolored nail is trimmed away. It may take 6-9 months for the new nail to grow all the way out.
Ever since dropping a heavy object on my toe, the nail has been thick. If I have the nail removed, will it grow back normal?
Having a thick or damaged toenail removed will probably not result in a healthier nail. Once the nail matrix (nail growth center) is damaged, it typically will continue to produce an altered nail.
I just had a pedicure a few days ago and now the skin next to my toenail is red and itchy. Could this be an infection?
These are two likely signs of infection, especially if the nail’s protective cuticle was cut or pushed back during the pedicure. Another cause of these symptoms is an allergic reaction to products used during the pedicure (nail polish, creams, instruments used). If you continue to experience these symptoms, it is best to seek medical treatment.
How do I know if I have toenail fungus?
Toenail fungus is a slow-growing infection underneath the nail. The most common signs of fungal infection are a thickening of the nail, yellow or brown discoloration, change in nail texture, and flaky debris under the nail.