You may not spend much time thinking about your toenails, but problems with them may indicate other health issues. Since toenails are located at one of the far points of the circulatory system, they can signal the presence of systemic diseases and other conditions. They may also experience localized problems that slow growth or deform the nail as it grows.
Several different types of diseases can affect the toenails. Psoriasis sufferers often have increased nail thickness and growth problems that create pits in the nails. People with iron-deficiency anemia may develop nails that round inward, not outward. Fungal infections may cause the nail to distort, thicken and grow incorrectly. People who've had serious illnesses may find their nails have white lines across them, indicating a period of slow growth.
The toenails grow constantly, but different conditions cause them to grow in different ways. For instance, if a person has an excessive amount of thyroid hormone in their system, they may have extremely quick-growing toenails. People recovering from an injury may also have problems with fast growth. Low levels of certain hormones may result in slow or inconsistent growth.
Nail growth problems can occur in people of both sexes and all ages, but are common in older people and those with poor circulation. Since treatment of nail problems may require partial or total removal of the nail, and since other treatments often affect coordination, older people and people with disabilities should see a professional to deal with their nail problems.
It's possible to treat some types of toenail growth problems at home. Infected toenails can be soaked in salt water and bandaged, and medicated soaks may help fungal infections. Always discuss serious changes with a doctor, though. Keep your nails clean, trim them regularly and avoid wearing tight or pointed shoes to prevent ingrown nails and other deformities not caused by disease.
Toenail growth problems may look relatively minor, but they may signal a much more serious problem. Thyroid problems, anemia and even heart conditions can cause problems in nail growth. Untreated toenail growth problems could lead to worsening physical condition. Even if the trouble with your nail growth is only in the toe, poor treatment could result in pain, infection and damage to your foot.
- Photo Credit StinkefÃ¼ÃŸe image by MoniP from Fotolia.com
Finger Nail Growth
Consisting of several protein layers of a substance called keratin, your fingernails may be small, but they consist of several parts--the plate,...
Curved Toenail Problems
Ingrown, curved, deformed toenails--onychogryposis--accounts for 20 percent of patients seeking family medical attention for a foot problem. The curved nail punctures and...
Issues can develop with your toenail for a variety of reasons. Your toenail consists of a protein known as keratin, which develops...
Unusual Change in Nail Growth
An unusual change in nail growth could be due to many things. Poor nutrition, especially a diet lacking minerals, could be the...
What is the Average Rate of Nail Growth?
Fingernails and toenails do grow at a fairly consistent rate, even if it doesn't always seem like it. However, changes in growth...
How to Properly Trim Toenails
Trimming toenails properly is important for avoiding painful foot problems. Ingrown toenails, a common and very painful problem, are caused by not...
How to Identify Zinc Deficiency
Zinc is a vital component that is essential to the proper function of various body organs and systems, including the skin, hair...
How to Improve Toenail Health & Increase Growth
Healthy toenails are an important part of good general health. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, nail problems are responsible for...
How to Regrow Toenails
Once your toenail separates from the nail bed, it can take up to 18 months to regrow. There are many reasons why...
How to Grow Nails Fast
Grow nails quickly by maintaining a natural fingernail care routine, including regular manicures and vitamin supplements. Promote nail growth by wearing acrylic...