The condition of your toenails can point to systemic problems like diabetes, nutritional deficiencies, a fungal toenail infection, or even a malignant lesion. Regularly inspecting your feet for abnormalities is a great way to avoid unnecessary complications. Always bring any toenail or skin abnormalities to the attention of your podiatrist to rule out cancer.
Some of the signs in your toenails that may indicate other health issues include:
- Stripes across the toenail—These can be white stripes or darker stripes. The lighter stripes may be an indication of liver dysfunction or inadequate protein in the diet. Dark stripes can be a sign of skin cancer. Since skin cancers can often be malignant, be sure to have these stripes checked out by your foot doctor.
- Toenails that are thick and brittle—Exposure to cleaning chemicals and toxic additives like acetone that are used for nail polish remover can cause your toenails to become brittle. A fungal toenail infection can also cause changes to the texture of your nails.
- Yellow, green, or black toenails—A thick brown or yellowing/greening of the toenail may be a sign of fungal toenail infection, psoriasis, or a thyroid condition. Overuse of chemical nail polishes and removers can likewise cause discoloration of the toenail. If your toenails have a greenish/black tinge, it could be a microbial infection, or possibly a cancerous lesion. If so, make sure to get an evaluation from your foot doctor.
If the color and texture of your toenails appear unusual, be sure to have your podiatrist take a look to determine the cause and proper treatment. Call Syracuse Podiatry located in East Syracuse, New York. Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico, Dr. Kathleen Pyatak-Hugar, and Dr. Donal M. Erickson and their staff will help you diagnose and treat your foot or ankle condition. Call 315-446-3668 or make an appointment online today.