WHILE many people spend lots of time and money on keeping their feet and toes looking good, most don’t pay a lot of attention to what their feet and toe nails are telling them about their overall health. However, the condition of your toenails can tell you a lot about what is going on inside your body and clue you in to potential trouble, if you pay attention. Here is what your nails might be saying about you:
The hallmark of a health foot is slightly pink tinged toenails. This indicates good circulation and an absence of infection or other problem.
When your toenails fade from a healthy pink to a pale white, you might be experiencing a localized infection or a reduction in blood supply to the feet. Such conditions may include liver disease, diabetes, kidney failure, heart failure, anemia or even an overactive thyroid.
Yellow nails are usually an indication of a specific fungal infection of the nail bed. The nails will turn yellowish and thicken while the nail bed would retract. In very rare cases, yellowed nails can indicate a thyroid problem or diabetes.
The surface of the nail is generally smooth. However, if the nail is rippled or pitted, you could be facing conditions such as inflammatory arthritis or psoriasis. It is estimated that up to 40% of people with psoriasis have pitted toenails long before they ever get a confirmed diagnosis.
Separated nails, or nails that come loose from the nail bed and fall off are generally associated with an injury that damages the blood supply to the nail bed. However, it can also be caused by a reaction to chemical hardeners or an early indication of hyperthyroidism.
Split or Cracked Nails
Toenails that are brittle and susceptible to splitting and cracking are generally an indication of a thyroid problem or a fungal infection.
Toenails that take on a concave look have a very specific cause known as koilonychia. This is an indication of a liver condition where the body absorbs too much iron from the foods you eat. It can also be an indication of anemia and hypothyroidism.
Keeping an eye on your toenails takes more than just a glance to see if your polish needs to be touched up. If you think you might be having an issue with your toe nails, it’s time to schedule an appointment with a foot and ankle specialist that can evaluate your situation and correctly diagnose your problem. These doctors have highly specialized knowledge and experience that can get you diagnosed quickly and back to having the healthy feet you’re used to. In addition to being able to provide you with information about your general health from the appearance of your toenails, these Utah Foot Doctors can provide a bevy of other services including surgery, wound care and other services to help keep you healthy and on the go. For more information regarding what foot and Ankle Surgeons Salt Lake City and foot doctors can do for you, visit your local foot and ankle specialist today.