Common Nail Problems
Most commonly affects the big toenail. They occur when the sides of the nail grow into the surrounding skin causing pain, inflammation and potentially infection. They can be caused by poor nail cutting technique, tight fitting footwear, trauma or because the natural shape of the nail causes it to be abruptly curved or thick making it difficult to cut.
A nail infection, more common in adults than children. Fungal nail infections are caused by fungal spores and yeasts, such as those that cause Athlete’s foot, which live on our skin and nails. Hot, sweaty environments (such as trainers or non-leather shoes) allow the spores and yeasts to flourish. Damage to the nail may allow the fungus to have an ‘entry point’ under the nail. If you are in poor health or have certain other conditions such as Diabetes for example, this may increase your risk of developing a fungal nail infection. The nail may appear discoloured (either a white or yellowy/brown colour depending on the type of infection), thickened and be brittle and crumbly in texture.
Nails can become thickened with age, or they may thicken as a result of trauma such as dropping a heavy object on the toe or pressure from tight shoes. Alternatively they may have become thicker because of a fungal infection, although this is usually accompanied by noticeable discolouration.