Toenails: Your Questions Answered

Toenails can be an area of concern for many. In addition to fungus, ingrown nails, and injury Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists treats all types of nail conditions, and today he’s sharing answers to some of the more common questions he receives about toenails.

I exercised in a new pair of shoes and now a portion of my big toenail is turning black and loosening; what could it be?

The discoloration is probably due to trauma to the nail bed that caused bleeding under the nail. It’s usually the result of repetitive stress to the nail from wearing shoes that are too tight.  If the nail is exceptionally loose or more than one-half of the nail is black, it is best to see your podiatrist.

How will I know if I have toenail fungus?

This is a slowly developing infection beneath the nail. Some usual signs of toenail fungus are browning or yellowing of the toenail, change in the texture of the toenail, thickening of the nail and peeling debris under the nail.

The skin next to my toenail is red and itchy - could my nail be infected?

These are two probable signs of an infection, especially if the nail’s protective cuticle was pushed back or cut during a pedicure, for instance.

I dropped a heavy object on my toe and the toenail became very thick. If it is removed, will it be normal when it grows back?

Having a damaged toenail removed usually doesn’t result in a healthier nail. When the nail growth center has been damaged, it typically continues to produce a nail that looks different.

I keep getting ingrown toenails – why do they keep returning?

The most common reason is due to the shape of the big toe and the bone position. Another factor that can be to blame is ill-fitting shoes. Be sure to keep your toenails at a healthy length and cut the nail straight across.

If you have any questions regarding your toenail health, contact the office of Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists at (425) 455-0936 to book your visit or schedule an appointment online.

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Dr. Hubert Lee

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