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What Is Causing My Toenail Problems?

Tuesday, 05 July 2022 00:00

Toenails protect the toes. They are made of keratin, which makes them tough and resilient for the daily wear and tear they endure. Various things, including friction from ill-fitting shoes, level of physical activity, some pre-existing health conditions, temperature, and moisture, can affect toenails. Pain, itching, and discoloration are some of the signs of toenail problems. Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, is a common toenail problem. It is more apt to affect older people, with half of all people over 70 developing a toenail fungal infection. It can also impact those who walk barefoot in public areas, like pool areas or locker rooms (with warm, dark, and damp conditions), and those who get sweaty feet or have diabetes. As the infection makes its way deeper into the toenail, the nail becomes discolored and thickened. The nail may crumble and become jagged at the edge. The infection can spread to other toenails and surrounding skin. If it oozes a foul-smelling pus, the infection is worse. It is important to see a podiatrist if you feel you have toenail fungus or any other troubling issues with your toenails. They can properly diagnose the problem and discern how it should be treated.

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact the podiatrists of The Foot & Ankle Center of New Jersey. Our doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.


  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail


If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.


In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Ridgewood, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.


Read more about How to Treat Your Toenail Fungus
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