Discoloration of toenails is most commonly a sign of an underlying condition. There are a lot of factors that may alter the color of your toenails. Your lifestyle can also contribute to the color change of your toenail, especially what you eat. Wearing not properly fitted shoes or footwear is another one. We will further discuss discoloration of toenails specifically black and yellow toenails in the following sections.
Black toenails, causes and prevention
The most common cause of back toenails are tiny organisms that can only be seen using a microscope. They are called dermatophytes. These microorganisms love wet and damp areas, this is the reason why excessive sweating also contributes to the development of black toenails. If you are not wearing shoes or any other footwear that are your size, you are very prone to getting back toenails since too tight or too loose shoes can cause abrasion to your toes. Individuals who like running and walking, for example runners and joggers, are very much prone to having toenail problems especially those who do not wear socks at all.
If you have untreated injuries or wounds on your toenail, this may get complicated and cause black toenails. Other factors include improper trimming of your toenails and unhygienic habits.
The best prevention for any condition would be being health conscious. Eat a balanced diet, everyday exercise, and taking supplements will make your nails strong and healthy. When choosing shoes or socks, make sure that it is your proper size for good circulation of blood and airflow. To avoid excessive sweating you can wear anti perspiring socks or odor free ones.
Yellow toenails, causes and prevention
A condition called onychomycosis, which is a fungal infection, is the common cause of yellow toenails. This organism has an affinity to nail bed and in the corners or edges of the nail plate. This kind of infection is very challenging to manage since the area is difficult to reach making it hard to apply any topical medications.
However, toenail removal is the most advised procedure to be taken when treating toenail problems. Make sure that it is done by a healthcare professional to avoid further complications. You can also apply antifungal creams, lotions, or ointments on the area after the toenail removal.
Some people use tea tree oil, grape fruit seed extract, and snakeroot as alternatives to antifungal and antibiotic medications. As mentioned before, discoloration of toenails can be a sign of an underlying condition so it is encouraged to take it seriously and not ignore it.