Common Toenail Conditions
Certain common toenail conditions can complicate the care of your nails. Most of us will experience changes in the shape, texture, and colour of our nails as we age. These changes are often no more than a nuisance. But sometimes they can result in pain or infection.
In addition to signs of aging, changes in the toenails can also be symptoms of systemic disease, so they should not be taken lightly or ignored, especially if they affect both the hands and feet.Certain common toenail conditions can complicate the care of your nails.
Most of us will experience changes in the shape, texture, and colour of our nails as we age. These changes are often no more than a nuisance. But sometimes they can result in pain or infection. In addition to signs of aging, Changes in the toenails can also be symptoms of systemic disease, so they should not be taken lightly or ignored, especially if they affect both the hands and feet.
Age-Related Changes In Toenails
Over the course of a lifetime the toenails can take quite a beating. Remember. we take five to ten thousand steps a day, often while wearing hot, confining footwear. The toenails are subjected to much more daily abuse than fingernails, and confining them in shoes for extended periods of time makes them even more vulnerable to injury and infection.
It is not uncommon for toenails that have been injured or subjected to constant pressure to become thick and painful over time. This can happen to one or several nails. The nails of the big toe and the small toe are usually the first to show age-relatyed changes, because they tend to bear the brunt of shoe pressure.
Most problems caused by age-related well to good foot hygience, proper nail and skin care, and the use of topical medications.
As noted above, your nails tend to grow more slowly as you age. The good news is that you may not have to trim your nails so often. The bad news is that your nails can become more vulnerable to fungal infection and slower to heal from injuries.
One theory on why older people are more likely to have fungal infections of the toenails is that the slower growing nail allows fungus living on the skin to advance up and under the end of the nail and infect the nail from the bottom up. Basically, the fungus advances faster than the growing nail can "push" it away.
Reference: Great Feet For Life: Paul Langer, DPM
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