Toenail discoloration is as painful as having blisters on the feet that need immediate blister treatment. The appearance of the nails can be white, green, or yellow. Half of toenail discoloration cases result from toenail fungus infection found in the dust, soil, on surfaces, and the air. Fungal infection can cause the nails to appear yellow while other conditions causing discolorations include bacterial infection causing the toenails to appear green-black, melanoma discoloration causing brown or black discoloration, and reactions to medications that cause blue discoloration. The common cause of discoloration is the nail fungus called onychomycosis. The nail fungus occurs when dermophytes move under the nail. The toenails are susceptible due to the surrounding skin that is prone to friction blisters that invite germs, dirt, and infection that can cause fungi to grow. The nail can appear yellow or brownish while getting thicker, misshaped, and sometimes with bad odor can be emitted. Toenail fungus can be very embarrassing. If you have discolored toenails, please contact the podiatrist at DeNiel Foot & Ankle Center. Our doctor can provide the care you need to clear up your toenails in no time. How to deal with discolored nails 1. Keep the toenails clean. Toenail fungus is always present anywhere and can be present on the skin just waiting for a chance to strike. Proper hygiene and regular inspection of the feet reduce the chances of the problem developing into a complicated situation. Clean and dry the feet to resist diseases and use an antibacterial soap to get rid of excess bacteria on the feet. 2. Avoid walking barefoot Fungus sticks on surfaces and transfers to exposed feet. It is always best to wear shoes or sandals all through. 3. Cut nails short Long nails will rub against tight shoes and may cause friction blisters. With proper blister care and blister treatment, the blisters on feet get healed without causing more problems. In cases where blister care is not established, the blister acts like an opening to invite fungus into the toenail. Correct clipping of the toenails straight across ensures that the nail does not extend beyond the nail bed, avoiding friction blisters. Treatment of toenail discoloration To effectively establish the best treatment of toenail discoloration depends on the cause of the discoloration. Discoloration of toenails takes time because nails grow slowly. The podiatrist may try over-the-counter prescriptions and nail debridement to reduce thickness and may conduct non-surgical chemical nail removal. Treatments for discolored toenails include • Steroid injections near the nail • Laser therapy • Topical applications used directly on the nails • Phototherapy Medications used for toenail discolorations include Efinaconazole, Itraconazole, Terbinafine, Diflucan, Ciclopirox, Loprox, among other prescribed medications. When to visit your podiatrist over toenail discoloration Do not ignore toenail fungus infection because if left untreated can spread to other nails and make your everyday life painful. Book an appointment immediately you discover that • Your nails appear thick • You notice unexplained changes in the color of the toenails. • The toenail surroundings are tender and painful. • Swelling around the toenail. • The nail appears separated from the nail bed. Toenail discoloring is caused by a variety of conditions. The toenail fungus does not cause serious discomfort but can affect your self-esteem. No matter the cause of the color change in toenails you need treatment from a podiatrist.