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Discoloration and Toenail Fungus

Tuesday, 30 August 2022 00:00

Sometimes, a toenail’s natural translucent color can be manipulated into an entirely different shade. One potential common cause of such discoloration is toenail fungus. Toenail fungus can be caused by an organism named dermatophyte. If your toenail has been infected by a fungus, you might notice that the shade of the nail has changed to yellow, reddish brown, black, or green. This discoloration can start small, for example underneath the tip of the affected nail, before growing larger in size if unaddressed. There are also several things that can increase one’s risk of developing a toenail fungus. If you sweat frequently, walk barefoot in warm and moist environments, or are prone to enduring small cuts near the nail, you may be at an increased risk of developing toenail fungus and potentially discoloration. Of course, discoloration can be caused by things other than toenail fungus. Namely, injuries, nail polish, and particular health conditions can also contribute to discoloration. However, it is important for you to be aware of the causal connection between toenail fungus and discoloration of the toenail. If you have discoloration of the nail, contact a podiatrist.

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact Deborah Holte, DPM of Northeast Missouri Foot Clinic. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.


  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail


If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.


In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Kirksville, MO . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.


Read more about Treating Toenail Fungus
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