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Can your toenails give you clues about your health?

What your toenails can say about your health.

Many people are out of touch with their overall state of health, and only begin to consider that there may be an issue once there is pain, or a major loss of functionality or vitality. What so many busy people fail to see is that by the time that these types of symptoms begin to manifest, the underlying problem has grown far worse than would have been if they had seen the warning signs early, and been checked out by a doctor. One place that shows clues as to the overall state of your health, and can be used as a tipoff that an underlying problem is taking shape, is right below your nose, and all you have to do to see it is look down. What is this hidden indicator of potential health problems? Your toenails! 

The color of your toenails, the growth rate and potential for pain, as well as the overall shape can give your doctor or foot speicalist vital clues to underlying health issues. For example, a patient who begins losing weight and shows cracked and peeling skin on their feet as well as infected toenails may actually be showing signs of undiagnosed diabetes, and may be urgently in need of treatment immediately.

So what are some of the things to look out for on your toenails that may be a warning sign? See the list below:

Pain: Pain in your toenails may be a sign of poor circulation, collagen disorder, kidney or neurological disease, or even diabetes.

Lack Of Pain Or Feeling: Having no feeling at all or a numb sensation in the toenails may be a sign of a nerve injury, neurological disease or diabetes.

Strange colors or spots: If you notice the nails changing color, it can be a sign of an underlying problem. If the nail beds are turning a blueish color, it  could be a sign of congestive heart disease, oxygen deficiency or Lou Gehrig's Disease. If you notice dark spots under the nail, it could be a sisgn of skin cancer. If you notice the nails turning yellowish, there may be an infection under the nail that is easily treatable with the Patholase Laser Beam Treatment.

Shape Changes: If your nails are becoming spoon shaped, there may be underlying problems. If downward it could show a sign of Cardiopulmonary Disease and if upward it could show a sign of Psoriasis.

Keep in mind that self-diagnosis is always dangerous due to the fact that signs of potential problems can often be mistaken for other conditions, and it is important to consult a qualified and licensed physician when you notice changes to your body. Any changes to the toenails should be brought to the attention of a Podiatrist. These changes could be any of the following; changes in shape, color, texture, unusual growth, pitting or holes in the nails, or any dark streaking under the nails.

Potential problems in the toenails can be avoided by following the steps given to you by your Podiatrist, including; keeping the feet dry and avoiding unnessary exposure to humidity or sweat that can be brought about with tight fitting socks or pantyhose, as well as avoiding wearing the same shoes every day. Keep the nails clipped and filed so as to avoid sharp edges that can cur or bruise the neighboring toes. Do not remove your cuticles or clean too deeply benieth the nails, as they can become infected this way. Gentle clensign is good, but over-scrubbing can lead to problems. Lastley, avoid treating ingrown toenails yourself. It is best to consult a Podiatrist as there may be infection issues.


• Footcare Prevention

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