“No Sandals for me, I Have Ugly Toenails”

Do you have ugly toenails? Are you embarrassed to show your feet because your toenails are discolored, unsightly or thick? Do you have pedicures regularly just to cover up the discoloration and ugliness of your nails? You are not alone.

Nail dystrophy or changes in the toenail is one of the most common foot complaints. People want to blame every change in a toenail on fungus but studies have shown that fungus is the culprit less than half of the time. Mold, yeast and, more commonly, dystrophic changes of the nail due to trauma are what causes changes in the toenail

There are options. First, you need to determine if you want to keep the nail or not. If not, then the nail can be permanently removed and destroyed so it does not come back with a simple office procedure done under a local anesthetic. This procedure will allow you to return to work and not prevent you from doing anything you want or need to do. Just removing the nail to let it grow back will not produce a normal nail. It will return the same way it was before. It must be permanently destroyed If you desire to keep the nail, there is a test that can be done on the nail to determine what is causing it to be abnormal. This test should be done to determine if you have the potential to get a normal nail with medication. If it is an isolated nail or two and there is no known injury that may have caused the nail to become thick and unsightly, then doing the test would be indicated to find what is causing the nail change. This is done by taking a specimen of the nail and sending it for a special test. I have often seen patients who have taken medication for fungus with no changes and want to know why. Doing the test reveals they never had a fungus and taking the medicine was not indicated.

The other option is to continue to live with the nail as it is. It will usually progress and get worse without treatment and become more difficult to care for. If you choose to cover it up with pedicures and polish, this can actually make the condition worse.

So, what’s it going to be? Sandals or no sandals? We can help.

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