Frequent question: What can your toenails tell you?

Your toenails tell a lot about your overall health. A fungal infection often causes thickened yellow toenails. Thick, yellow nails also can be a sign of an underlying disease, including lymphedema (swelling related to the lymphatic system), lung problems, psoriasis, or rheumatoid arthritis.

Can your toenails tell you if you have cancer?

Dark line or bruise under your toenail

Although very, very rare, the discolored spot underneath your toenail could be a sign of melanoma, a potentially fatal form of skin cancer. It usually appears like a brown or black streak or looks similar to a bruise.

What do changes in toenails mean?

Red streaks in toenails may also indicate infection. Disease. Changes in your nails such as splitting, pitting, ridges, the appearance of black streaks, and more, can indicate a number of diseases, including hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, psoriasis, and even melanoma. Malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies.

Why is my big toenail discolored?

Dirt, poor hygiene, and living in a humid area are all causes of a fungal infection in your toenails. Fungal toenail infections can cause discoloration, making your nail appear any of these colors: Yellow. Red-brown.

What is the white hard stuff under my toenails?

Keratin is a protein that promotes the development of the skin and nails. Nail psoriasis sometimes causes too much keratin to grow under the nail. This overgrowth is called subungual hyperkeratosis. People with hyperkeratosis may notice a white, chalky substance under the nail.

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What does cancer of the toe look like?

This is most common in the big toes of your feet. The cancerous cells underneath the nails can look like purple, brown, or black bruises. These also tend to look like dark streaks that grow vertically in the nail. Unlike nail injuries where the nail eventually grows out, these streaks don’t go away if they’re melanoma.

Why does my big toenail look yellow?

When toenails turn yellow, a fungus is usually to blame. This type of fungal infection is so common that you might not even need to see a doctor for treatment. Try an over-the-counter antifungal cream. If your nail is yellow and thick, gently file down the surface so that the drug can reach deeper layers.

Why is Vicks good for toenail fungus?

Vicks VapoRub is a topical ointment. Although designed for cough suppression, its active ingredients (camphor and eucalyptus oil) may help treat toenail fungus. A 2011 study found that Vicks VapoRub had a “positive clinical effect” in the treatment of toenail fungus.

Do toenails change as you age?

As we age, our toenails – and fingernails – slow their growth rate, and the nails thicken because the nail cells, called onychocytes, sort of pile up. Fingernails appear to thicken less, probably because we tend to them more often with filing and buffing, which thins them.

Can deformed toenails be fixed?

A thick, deformed toenail often needs to be permanently removed. This is a simple office procedure that can be done on your initial visit. Once healed, there may be a thin layer of skin that looks quite normal with just an outline of the toenail. This can then be covered with toenail polish if desired.

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