When those summer months hit it means one thing only to those people suffering with deformed toenails. How to hide the embarrassing problem while wearing sandals, or whether to wear tennis shoes and try not to mind everyone else seems to have beautiful feet and sandals! You are not alone though, deformed toenails are a very common problem usually caused by toenail fungus.
Toenail fungus is recognizable by the appearance of the deformed toenails. Usually nails are yellowish in color, they have become thicker than normal, there may be flaking under the nail, scaly skin between toes or on the bottom of your feet, you may have a problem with sweaty feet.
Treatment for toenail fungus is slow whichever method you choose to use. Even with something that is effective, it takes 6 to 9 months for a completely healthy nail to have grown through so you need to have patience while you treat it.
From your local pharmacy there are over the counter treatments that are suitable for mild to moderate infections, you can try some of the home remedies that are around for mild conditions, or for a more serious problem you may need to visit a podiatrist or your doctor for a medicated treatment.
Although toenail fungus is the most common cause of deformed toenails it is not the only one. If you have recently damaged the toe from an injury this may be the cause. Unfortunately if the damage affected the root of the nail, this means the change in appearance is permanent.
Other less common causes are psoriasis and bone spurs. Most people know if they have psoriasis whether their nail problem is also due to their skin complaint. Nails may have some separation from the nail bed, there can be small blisters, scaling and the surface of the nail is pitted.
A visit to a doctor or podiatrist will help diagnose the problem if you are unsure, they can examine it and have a culture done if they need it.