Have your nails turned from a healthy pink color to an unappetizing dull yellow?
Even worse, have your nails started turning black, blue, or even green?
This color change is an indication that what you’re experiencing right now is the death of your nail.
You can paint over it with a pretty color to hide the fact that your toenail is dying, but eventually, if left untreated, the dead toenail will break and not regrow.
Why hide the symptoms when you could treat it with an effective solution?
To understand how to treat your toenail discoloration, however, you’ve got to understand what is causing the nail to die in the first place.
Let’s take a look at the most common reasons why nails begin to turn different colors, break, and eventually die.
The Most Common Reason For Toenail Discoloration? Injury!
Joe is a 15 year old kid who loves being active.
He plays football and baseball for his local high school and you can often find him taking an evening jog down the road. Joe isn’t what you’d call a “fitness fanatic,” but as a still growing teenage, he understands that taking good care of himself is required if he wants to put on a good performance when it is game time.
One evening, while jogging down the street, Joe misjudged a curb and managed to bang his foot into it pretty hard.
He stumbled for a bit, but was more embarrassed by the incident than anything, as he recalls.
He remembers looking around to see if anyone was watching him stumble, and seeing that no one was there, continued until he finished his run.
When he was most of the way home, he noticed that his foot was beginning to throb.
It began to get worse with every step he took! By the time he got home, his whole foot was on fire. He pried the shoe off quickly and there was a spot of blood under his sock.
Pulling off his sock, Joe noticed that a good portion of the nail on his big toe was hanging to the skin like a flap.
Over the next weeks, Joe noticed that a new toenail was growing in, but he old toenail was still hanging onto the skin at its root.
It was too painful to just remove the nail and it was still alive, so he kept it taped down.
It eventually turned yellow, broke off during a game one evening, and for the next 3 months Joe watched a new pink nail come in.
With an injury causing toenail discoloration, there’s not much you can do but just sit around and wait for your body to grow a new nail, like Joe did.
Take care of the injury, work hard not to re-injure the healing nail, and eventually you’ll have a healthy toenail once again.
Could You Have a Hidden Medical Problem?
Kathy, a 42 year old administrative assistant, had noticed that she was starting to get some extensive toe discoloration, but she didn’t think much of it.
It wasn’t painful, she felt healthy for the most part, and she couldn’t really afford an extra trip to the doctor.
Money was tight because her teenage boys were going through groceries like a thirsty man drinks water… and besides, she didn’t want to bother anyone.
She was also experiencing some occasional physical symptoms that were a little strange: she’d get dizzy every now and then.
There were moments when she’d feel incredibly thirsty, but then that craving would go away. At night, she’d get incredible hunger pains at times that were unbearable until she ate a small snack.
Kathy finally broke down and visited the doctor one afternoon after an incident while driving to work.
She was sitting at a stop light, waiting for it to turn green, and then she didn’t remember anything else until stepping out of her car at work. She’d driven almost 10 miles with no memory!
The doctor took one look at her toenail discoloration and ordered blood tests.
Kathy had developed diabetes and her toenails confirmed what her symptoms. Once she and her doctor began treating her high blood sugar, the toenail discoloration faded away.
Changes in toenail color can also be indications of liver, heart, kidney, or even lung conditions.
If you see discoloration that seems strange, a visit to the doctor is in order just to make sure that you don’t have a hidden health problem developing within your body.
Sometimes Toenail Discoloration Is Hereditary
Samantha, 22, is just about ready to graduate from college.
She’s always done her best to hide her nails because just like having yellow teeth is a negative societal stigma, so is having yellow nails.
Her fingernails and toenails have never really been white. The’ve always had more of a yellowish tinge to them, no matter what she’s tried to do.
At first her doctors thought she was ingesting titanium from somewhere, but tests confirmed this wasn’t the case.
She did, however, tend to have a lot of sinus infections while growing up. Every winter, she would also develop a chronic cough that her doctors thought was a form of asthma.
Since taking an inhaler seemed to help the cough and she felt better afterwards, nothing more ever came of the yellow nails.
That is until Samantha had to take clarithromycin because a persistent sinus infection wouldn’t go away with the normal antibiotics that she would take.
After taking the clarithromycin series, she noticed something strange: her toenail discoloration had faded!
What Samantha had was a rare medical condition called Yellow Nail Syndrome. It can happen to anyone, but it tends to affect more people with breathing or chronic sinus issues.
50% of All Toenail Discoloration That Isn’t an Injury Is Toenail Fungus
Even though the thought of a hidden medical problem is scary, it isn’t the likely cause of your toenail discoloration.
If you haven’t had an injury to the toenail itself, then there’s a 1 in 2 chance that what you’ve got going on in those affected nails is a fungal infection.
About 10% of the adult population suffers from a toenail fungus infection at any given time and the reasons why this happens can be pretty varied.
There is one common denominator: to grow, fungi need a moist, wet environment.
Think about the shower. The swimming pool at the gym. It could even be your shoes if you’ve been wearing them all day, every day for awhile and then happen to break a nail like Joe did.
The good news, however, is that nail fungus isn’t something that is highly contagious.
If you see toenail discoloration and your nail is being raised up more than normal, then these are good indicators that you’ve got a fungal infection going on.
You might wish to consult with your doctor just to be sure, but if that’s what the diagnosis happens to be, treating your infection becomes an immediate and important thing to do for your toenail health.
How Do You Effectively Treat Nail Fungus?
The problem with most nail fungus treatments is that they just can’t treat the core issue.
It’s like taking cough medicine when you’ve got the flu: the cough medicine can help you manage a bothersome symptom,
but it won’t actually fight the virus that is causing you to be sick in the first place.
Most aerosol sprays and creams that you’ll find on the store shelf do just that! They might improve the look of the nails that are affected, but they won’t remove the fungal infection.
For some people, a prescription medication might be the best result.
The problem with prescription meds for nail fungus, however, is that you could be taking them for up to 18 months to finally clear up the toenail infection.
Without any prescription coverage or with limited help, that can be an extremely expensive proposition!