Yellow, discoloured, thick, flaky toenails are common. This condition is usually caused by a fungal infection, but other factors can affect nail health.
If you swim or take lots of showers, keep in mind that fungi thrives in moist environments. The fungi can get into your skin in the area that separates your toenail from the nail bed, and can also enter through a cut on your body or through a split in your skin. A condition called lymphedema (chronic leg swelling) can turn your nails yellow. So can diabetes.
Yeasts and Molds
According to Mayoclinic.com, dermatophytes are a bunch of fungi that can cause nail infection and the subsequent yellowing of the nail. In addition, yeasts and moulds can also cause infection in toenails.
One reason toenails are likely to become infected and the target of fungal infections is that feet are stuffed into dark, sweaty shoes most of the time. This environment is perfect for the formation of fungus, according to Mayoclinic.com. If an individual has bad circulation, this can cause a fungal infection in your toenails. Quickcare.org says that ill-fitting shoes, or those that are too tight, can result in a fungal infection. If you cut your nails too short and cut yourself in the process, an infection can enter through the injury site.
A fungal infection in the toenails can do more than discolour them. It can also cause the splitting of the nail, and pitting may develop. If dirt and debris accumulates under your nails, this can exacerbate the fungal problem and cause a foul odour. Infected toenails may become flaky and thick, according to Footsmart.com.
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