Toenail problems tend to be more common with advancing age. Problems include ingrown toenail, fungal infection and nail deformities.
Professional care from your podiatrist can improve the health of your toenails.
The most common problem treated by podiatrists is ingrown toenail. The big toe is particularly prone to this painful condition. Incorrect trimming technique, trauma (such as stubbing your toe), nails that naturally curve too sharply, or wearing tight shoes can cause an ingrown toenail.
Symptoms of a nail with fungal infection include discolouration and thickening of the nail, and the separation of the nail from the nail bed. There may be a white, cheesy discharge. Without treatment, the nail bed itself can become infected. Treatment options include anti-fungal preparations and professional trimming, shaping and care of the nail by your podiatrist.
Inflammation of the Skin Alongside the Nail
The skin lying alongside the nail can become infected with bacteria, typically Staphylococcus aureus. This infection is called paronychia. The symptoms include pain, redness and swelling around the cuticle, and perhaps a discharge of yellow or green pus. Acute cases can be treated with antibiotics. However, chronic paronychia is harder to treat. The nail distorts and discolours and the skin may lift at the site of infection. Sometimes, the inflammation spreads from one nail to another.
Deformed or Brittle Nails
A violent toe-stubbing, dropping a heavy object on the toe or some other trauma can injure the nail bed and cause the nail to grow in deformed ways. The nail may be thickened or ridged. Brittle nails are common in elderly people because of the tendency to poor circulation. Deformed or brittle nails can benefit from professional attention. Trimming, shaping and nail care from your podiatrist can improve the health of your nails.