Some people say that the eyes are the window to the soul, but as your Houston podiatrist, I’m here to tell you that a different part of your body can give you a true picture of your overall health: your toenails.
Toenails, you ask? How can one tiny part of my smallest appendage be an indication of my health? Well, not only can an unhealthy toenail lead to fungus, infection and generalized foot pain, your toenails can also indicate that you have a more serious condition; the color of your toenail could tell me that you have a heart condition, diabetes, or kidney, lung or liver disease.
Now that you know how important healthy toenails are, let’s review the best way to keep them in tip-top condition. Proper maintenance is the key to toenail health; when you shower, carefully clean your feet, toes and toenails individually. Always trim your nails in a timely and careful fashion to avoid problems like ingrown toenails. Make sure to look at your toenails regularly and take note of any abnormalities in color or shape.
If you notice anything strange on or around your toenail, you should call my office immediately. Even if your toenail doesn’t hurt yet, as I mentioned before, any type of discoloration or abnormality in the toe could lead to foot pain or be an indication of a more serious problem affecting your body, so it deserves quick attention.
Don’t just shrug off a strange color or spot on your nail—if it’s black or blue, it could mean you’re bleeding underneath the nail. If you have a dark spot that doesn’t move as your nail grows, it probably means that you have an infection underneath the nail and you may need surgery to correct the problem.
The bottom line is that your toenails are more than just retainers for nail polish or pesky appendages that need to be trimmed all the time. They are an important part of your body deserving of care and attention; with that said, if you suspect you have a toenail infection or notice anything unusual about your toes, schedule an appointment at Tanglewood Foot Specialists to keep the ‘window of your body’ in healthy working order.