Toenail Tuesdays – a breakdown of different toenail conditions!

New Step Podiatry: Toenail conditions

We know that it can be concerning when you look at your toenails and they just don’t look right! You may find yourself asking Dr. Google one of the following questions… (we’ve all been there!)

  • My toenail is digging in to the side of my toenail, what is this?
  • My toenail has bumps in it, what is this?
  • My toenails are peeling, what is this?
  • My toenail is a funny colour, help!
  • Should I see a GP?!
  • Should I see a Podiatrist? When should I see a Podiatrist?

New Step Podiatry: Dr Google Search

 

No need to turn to Dr. Google, our Podiatrist’s are here to answer your questions about different toenail conditions. In this post, we break down the different toenail conditions, show examples in photos and discuss causes and treatment options for each conditions.

 

New Step Podiatry: Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails

We, Podiatrists call ingrown toenails ‘Onychocrytosis’, the inclusion of the word ‘cry’ 😢 in this term is very fitting.

An ingrown toenail is when a toenail edge presses against and irritates the nail fold or adjacent skin. Ingrown toenails can have associated pain, infection, corns, calluses and extra tissue growth called Hypergranulation.

An ingrown toenail may be caused or contributed by one or more of these conditions:

👉 Involuted (excessively curved) toenails
👉 Trauma to the toenail
👉 Toenails that are too wide and flat for the nail bed
👉 A nail spike or sharp edge that has been left in the corner when trimming
👉 Toe deformities (claw toes, bunions)
👉 Faulty foot posture and biomechanics
👉 Shoes that are too tight around the toes
👉 Genetic predisposition to an abnormal nail shape
👉 The medication Isotretinoin (Roaccutane©)
👉 Sweaty skin

Treatment can include:

✅ Toenail bracing where a smooth wire or plastic device is glued to the toenail like braces are applied to teeth. A gentle force within the brace encourages the nail to reposition.
✅ Skillful trimming of the nail edge to remove the offending nail spike, sharp edge or involution edge.
✅ Packing of the edge with material to prevent nail and skin fold contact.
✅ Toenail surgery under local anesthesia the offending section of the toenail is removed.

These treatments are often accompanied by topical antiseptics, oral antibiotics, dressings, preventative education and at home care advice.

 

New Step Podiatry: Toenail Psoriasis

Toenail Psoriasis

 

Thickened Toenails

The medical term of a thickened toenail is called ‘Onychauxis’. This means uniform thickening of the nail plate. The cause of thickened toenails can be due to damage to the nail matrix which allows the nail to grow.

Causes of thickened toenails includes:

👉 Single major trauma e.g. heavy blow
👉 Repeated micro-trauma e.g. from poor fitting footwear
👉 Fungal nail infection, chronic skin disease
👉 Systemic disturbance (if all nails involved) e.g. peripheral arterial disease, which is an obstruction of blood flow.

The podiatry management of thickened toenails include:

✅ A Podiatrist can burr the nail to as near normal thickness as possible = reduced pressure and pain.
✅ Assess footwear. It
won’t reverse the problem, but it will help to reduce pain from pressure on nail.
✅ Control / stabilisation of underlying system condition (if present).
✅ Total Nail Avulsion (TNA) with destruction of matrix may give permanent relief.

Do you have a thickened toenail? See one of our Podiatrists for treatment now by booking online or calling 61984818.

 

New Step Podiatry: Brittle or Peeling Toenails
Brittle Toenails

Brittle toenails may be dry, thick, crumbly and break/split/crack easily. When toenails are crumbly, Podiatrists use the term ‘friable’.

Brittle toenails are more likely to occur with:

:mushroom: Fungal infections: the fungus changes the nail structure.
:high_heel: Trauma: either a blunt blow or from repetitive trauma such as from tight shoes.
:test_tube: Poor nail care: from the use of harsh nail products or over filing.
:beans: Nutritional deficiencies: limited protein, biotin, iron and vitamins in your diet can contribute to brittleness.
:drop_of_blood: Medical conditions: such as psoriasis, poor circulation and thyroid disorders.
:older_man: Age: as we age, nails aren’t built the same and can become more dry and brittle.Treatment for brittle toenails depends on the underlying cause such as treating a fungal infection, wear well-fitting shoes, avoiding harsh chemicals and supplements for nutritional deficiencies.

What are the podiatry treatment options for Brittle Toenails?

At New Step Podiatry we often recommend trying the Hydration Moisture Treatment by Dr’s Remedy. This clear coat helps moisturize, strengthen, and protect the look of nails. It is infused with biotin, whole wheat protein and four major vitamins. Wear alone as a treatment or as a base coat under a Dr’s Remedy nail polish colour.

 

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