“Getting funky” may be cool, but funky toenails are not! As we head into summer, there will be many funky toenails on display. What causes funky toenails? There can be many reasons, not the least of which is toenail fungus, or onychomycosis.

There are amazing arrays of funky looking toenails out there; bumpy nails, yellow nails, white nails, black spots under the nails, or entirely black nails. There are funny looking striped nails, flaking nails, and just oddly shaped toenails. If your toenails are funky looking, painful, or embarrassing, you should make an appointment today at the Foot & Ankle Center of Washington for an examination and treatment.

While the most common cause of funky toenails is a toenail fungus, there may be many other causes. For people with thickened or flaking toenails, they may actually have eczema or psoriasis in their toenails. This skin condition can easily mimic a nail fungus and requires a special test for accurate diagnosis. For those with very thick nails surrounded by very hard skin, it is likely that an injury has taken place. Runners, dancers, and tennis players, as well as those who’ve injured their toe in the past, and avoided proper treatment, may have this sort of self-inflicted condition.

Black toenails may also be a result of a self-inflicted, and untreated, injury. However, it may also be a sign of an underlying melanoma or skin cancer, a Subungual Melanoma. While many long distance runners see black toenails as a badge of courage, in the absence of trauma, this can be a very dangerous symptom and should be examined immediately.

While funky nails my sometimes be a result of aging, an underlying health condition may also affect the toenails. Anemia, malnutrition, or liver disease may cause very pale or even stark white toenails. If your nails are yellowed and slightly crumbly or peeling, you may have a thyroid problem.

Many of the causes of funky toenails essentially mimic toenail fungus, which is considered a largely cosmetic condition. However, thick, discolored, flaking, and peeling toenails may actually be a symptom of more serious health problems which manifest in your toenails. Only an expert diagnosis by a qualified podiatrist will tell you whether you are suffering from a cosmetic situation or a more serious condition.

If you are suffering from funky toenails, you should very definitely have one of our doctors, Dr. Douglas S. Hale and Dr. Lawrence Z. Huppin take a look at your toenails. Contact us today for diagnosis, treatment, and relief.

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