Why are my toenails so ugly?

Q: Why are my toenails so ugly?
A: There are many reasons why a toenail can change appearance. They can become darkened, discolored, yellowed, thickened, curved, and deformed. As a foot doctor, I see people everyday who do not like the appearance of their toenails. Because of our warm climate, open toed shoes and sandals are commonly worn by both women and men. They want their feet looking nice.

The most common cause of ugly toenails is fungus. Fungus is naturally present on our feet and in our shoes. If given an opportunity to infect, such as after trauma to the toenail, the fungus will do so. Mild fungus infections may show a white appearance to the nail surface. More advanced fungal infections of the toenails will lead to yellowing, thickening, and deforming of the nail. Toenails can also become ugly without fungus, such as repetitive trauma from running or injury, but fungus is the most common cause.

If you have noticed your toenails becoming thickened and discolored contact Family Foot Care for a comprehensive evaluation. Dr. Kevin McDonald will evaluate the cause of the changes to your nails and work with you to find the best solution to return them to a healthy appearance.