7 Health Warnings Your Skin and ToeNails May Be Giving 

Skin and Nail HealthSkin and health are more important than you may realize. While foot and ankle health is commonly thought of as sprains and breaks, skin and nail health is vital to overall well-being. Your nails directly correlate with what is potentially happening with your health- maybe not on the surface, but deep down. At Healthmark, your foot health is of utmost priority, and we can assist with preventing and treating corns and calluses.

1- Yellowing Nails - This is one of the most common occurrences in nail health. Infections can be picked up from pedicure tubs in nail salons if not cleaned in between clients properly, or even from having your toes confined in shoes and socks for too long. Athlete’s foot or ringworm can also be a culprit in disturbing nail health. Diabetes, poor circulation, weakened immune systems, and even swimming in public swimming pools are all additional risks of getting fungal infections in the toenails. How do you know if you have an infection? Are your nails yellow, do they have white streaks, is there scaling under the nail, or do you have brittle or thickened nails? This may be a sign you have an infected nail and should see a doctor. Over-the-counter medications are typically not recommended. In rare cases, yellow nails can indicate a more serious condition, such as diabetes or psoriasis, and white nails can indicate problems with the liver.

2- Cracked or Split Nails - While this can be tied to an infection, it can also be linked to thyroid disease, psoriasis, and hyperthyroidism. 

3- Dark Lines - Dark lines beneath the nail can be a sign of melanoma, the most dangerous type of skin cancer. Dark lines can also be a bruise. Many athletes can get bruised under the nail, so you may not need to be alarmed at the first sign; however, within a few weeks, if there is no change in appearance, you may want to see your Healthmark podiatrist to take a deeper look. 

4- Pale Nails - If your nails are almost white or extremely pale, it can suggest medical conditions such as congestive heart failure, liver disease, or malnutrition. Hepatitis signs are also linked to very white nails. 

5- Half White / Half Pink Nails - Often referred to as half and half, with half of the toenail being white and the other pink, this can be a sign of kidney disease or even kidney failure. 

6- Plantar Warts - Caused by a common virus, the human papillomavirus (HPV), plantar warts thrive in warm and moist environments such as pools or locker rooms. The virus enters the skin through cuts, cracks, scrapes, or skin that has become fragile without you knowing it. Common causes associated with plantar warts include stress, menstrual cycles, pregnancy, breastfeeding, diabetes, HIV/AIDs, and chronic sickness, compromising the body’s immune system. 

7- Corns and Calluses - Hardened areas of skin on your feet are developed due to repeated friction on places such as the tip of the toes and the ball, heel, or sides of the foot. Caused typically by daily activities or sports injuries, but there is a deeper concern. Patients with diabetic neuropathy may not notice a callus developing on their feet- or feel pain when a callus splits open into a diabetic foot ulcer. Psoriasis, eczema, thyroid problems, natural aging, and medication side effects can also cause corns and calluses.

Are you looking for a toenail or skin specialist in Philadelphia, PA?

If you are looking for toenail or skin care in Philadelphia, PA? Contact Healthmark Foot and Ankle Associates today.