Ever wondered what causes toenail discoloration? Unless you have injured your toenails, they probably are discolored because of a chronic resistant infection. These infections are due to various types of fungus that grow underneath the nails.
These fungi actually live on the nail tissue and its surrounding debris causing discolored nails. If not carefully dealt with, they multiply and infect more and more of the nail. Just as with teeth, the longer the nail infection is allowed to continue, the more damage is done to the nail. In fact, if neglected too long, the whole nail may need to be permanently removed.
The nail weakens as fungi continues to grow through the nail tissue. It becomes brittle and easily cracked or broken. This leads to larger and larger cavities being eaten out of the nail substance. The nail becomes partly detached from the nail bed and as the fungus grows faster than the nail, damage increases and the nail becomes more and more unsightly with the infection spreading to the root or base of the nail. It is, therefore, important that treatment be started before the infection spreads to the matrix or root of the nail. Generally, the fungus spreads from one nail to another or to the skin causing athlete’s foot. All nails may eventually become involved if not treated immediately.
Treatment Of Toenail Discoloration
Oral and topical medications are available to treat this condition. If detected early before permanent loosening of the nail plate takes place, this condition can be cured. In more advanced cases, the nail may need to be removed.
The foot specialists at A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Center have also found that laser treatments might be the best toenail fungus treatment, depending on the cause and severity of the discolored toenails.
If your nails appear discolored, you need to know whether it is a fungus or a different condition that requires prompt attention. Schedule an appointment with your local podiatrist at A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Center today to get your toenails examined!
ASA Treatment Facilities
The physicians and staff of the A Step Ahead Foot & Ankle Centers maintain two complete podiatric clinical facilities, and provide 24-hour emergency service. We participate in most health plans including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medicare, and Medicaid. We complete and file all necessary insurance forms, making every effort to assure you of maximum benefits with minimum out-of-pocket expenses.