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Discolored toenails facts

Introduction to discolored toenails

When a person’s toenails are discolored it is usually the result of a fungal infection. When this occurs the toenails will change color and can appear white, yellow or green in color. This can also be embarrassing, especially if it is the summertime and you want to where flip flops or go barefoot to the beach. When this infection of the toenail occurs, they can also become thicker and ragged. Even though most of the time a fungal infection is to blame, there are other causes for toenail discoloration as well.

Causes

As stated previously, fungus is the main cause. Fungi can be present in the air, dust or soil and can easily invade the toenail. The color of the discoloration will depend on what kind of fungi has infected the toenail. In the early stages of the infection, the toenail will usually turn yellow first and in the final stages, if nothing is done to get rid of the infection, the toe will eventually turn black in cooler.  Trauma is another possible cause of the discoloration of toenails. The toenail can be damaged or injured and turn a different color. The change in color is usually the result of bleeding under the nail, which will turn the toenail black usually. Other causes are:

  • Poor nutrition and general health 
  • Liver, kidney or heart problem. 
  • Diabetes or bronchitis 
  • Genetics 

Prevention

There are places where infections will attack the toenails more easily. People needs to wear closed sandals or slippers when they are in places such as public showers, pools or gyms. It is important to keep the feet dry as much as possible, because sweating inside the shoes for a long period of time will lead to the development of a fungal infection of the toes. If you are going to sweat a lot, especially if you are involved in a lot of sports and athletics, it is important to wear thick socks that absorb sweat well.  It is also important to wear comfortable shoes and to avoid wearing shoes that are too tight. A person should also refrain from cutting their toenails too short, because this can invite an infection. The shorter the nail, the more of a chance there is to injure the toenail and to allow fungal infections to attack underneath the toenail. 

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