Your toenails are an excellent indicator of your health, and frequently problems such as nutritional deficiencies, infections, and other injuries can show up as signals in your toenails.
Some of the telltale signs in your toenails that indicate other health issues include:
- Brittle nails—Your nails can become crumbly and brittle from exposure to chemicals, detergents, and nail polishes and removers. These can weaken the nail and may indicate a fungal nail infection, psoriasis, or a thyroid condition.
- Dark or white stripes across the nail—Dark striping on the nails may be an indication of a particular type of skin cancer that grows in the nail bed. If the dark stripes appear on all your nails, it’s probably nothing to worry about, but if just one is affected, you should have it checked for melanoma. White stripes can be a sign of low protein levels which can indicate liver disease or malnutrition.
- Yellow, green or black nails—This is sometimes caused by a fungal infection, psoriasis, or using too much nail polish. It can also be caused by jaundice, which is a sign of a serious liver problem. Nails that turn green or black may be infected with bacteria or it could be a side effect of taking antibiotic medications. Injuring your toe can also cause the nail to turn black.
If you are concerned about the appearance of your toenails, be sure to have your podiatrist examine them and help identify the underlying cause of any abnormalities. For any problems you may be experiencing with your feet and ankles, it is important to see a foot specialist to receive the correct care. Scott E. Hughes, DPM, Greg P. Vogt, DPM, and Christine I. Tumele, DPM of Foot & Ankle Specialist, PC is an expert in proper evaluation and recommendations for treatment. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or make an appointment with our Monroe, MI office at 734-241-0200, or our Lambertville, MI at 734-856-8900 in the Monroe County.