At Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists, we provide important podiatry services that can improve the overall health of your feet. When you experience pain or discomfort as the result of a nail disorder, it can negatively impact your quality of life as the pressure and pain you experience make it difficult to walk, enjoy your favorite activities, or run important errands. If you are experiencing the symptoms of a nail disorder, do not wait to make an appointment with an experienced podiatrist who can help because if left untreated, they can often lead to more serious complications.
How will I know I need to see a doctor?
Healthy nails should be uniformly smooth and slightly pink. If you notice striations, pits, grooves, or discoloration of your toenails, it is likely an indication that something is wrong. Your toenails should also be relatively flat and thin. Especially thick toenails, clubbed nails, or nails that are particularly brittle are also indicators that you should speak with a podiatrist. Patients will often notice that there is an excessive amount of debris under or around the nail. This is one of the most common symptoms of a fungal infection and should necessitate a consultation with an experienced foot doctor. If you have a fungal infection, you may also notice a strong foul smell emanating from your feet. Patients with ingrown toenails will see the nail itself grow into and under the surrounding skin. This will cause redness and pain, and may lead to infection if it is not addressed with a medical provider.
What if I have diabetes?
If you have been previously diagnosed with diabetes, you need to be especially vigilant about your toe health and should likely schedule regular check-ups with your podiatrist. A person with diabetes may develop thickened nails more readily than others, and may do so even if they do not have an infection. By ensuring you develop an open and trusting relationship with a podiatry expert, you will make sure that you do not have to worry about potential complications. An experienced podiatrist can help you understand how to appropriately care for your nails and can provide debridement and other hygienic services, especially if you have difficulty performing these tasks yourself as a result of reduced mobility.
Can my psoriasis affect my toenail health?
Patients with psoriasis may notice that their nails thicken as a result of their autoimmune condition. They may also develop noticeable ridges on the nails, and they are susceptible to loosening of the nail from the nailbed, or even complete separation if they are not properly maintained. If you have psoriasis and notice that your nail has changed in color or texture, it is best to speak with a podiatrist about your potential options for ongoing treatment and prevention.
What is nail clubbing?
Nail clubbing is a deformity that may happen to the nails of both the toes and fingers. Clubbing of the nails is most often a symptom of another condition, some of which could be very serious. If you notice that the shape of your nails has become rounded over the tops of your toes, you should pursue a diagnosis with your podiatrist, who will likely suggest you speak with another physician about what underlying medical conditions could be to blame. Nail clubbing is associated with pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal conditions, and others. Some patients with nail clubbing will develop it as a result of a genetic predisposition.
If you are in need of an experienced podiatrist to help you protect the health of your nails or address symptoms of a nail disorder, contact Advanced Foot and Ankle Associates in Schaumburg, Chicago, IL today.