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Nail Discoloration Overview

Trained physicians can often immediately recognize health issues with a quick look at your nails. It is very important to pay close attention to your nails and toenail because they can indicate a lot about your health. Nail discoloration can be caused by a number of different conditions that can result in yellow toenails, green toenails, or black toenails.

About half of all patients have a nail discoloration as a result of a nail fungus. Nail fungus can cause yellow toenails. Other reasons why you might have a discolored toenail are due to injury or certain illnesses. If you paint your nails with polish, it can cause them to yellow, but is not harmful. Black toenails are usually the result of an injury or bruise. Green toenails could be an indicator of a bacterial infection. Other color changes in your nails or toenails could suggest heart disease, diabetes, or a kidney, liver, or lung condition. Podiatrists treat a number of different toenail conditions; the most common nail discoloration we see in our office is caused by a fungal infection. If you have a discolored toenail, don’t speculate as to what might be causing it, call us at 561-793-6170 today to schedule a consultation with a podiatrist at one of our locations, such as Royal Palm Beach.

What is Nail Discoloration?

Nail discoloration is when nails or toenails change color. Black toenails, yellow toenails, or other discolorations each indicate something different going on with your health. This can be caused by a number of different conditions. Doctors often examine nails as a way to quickly check for health issues. Most toenail discoloration is caused by toenail fungus. Nail polish, an injury, or a health condition such as psoriasis of the nails can also be causes for discolored nails.

Symptoms of Nail Discoloration

Toenail discoloration is in actuality the symptom of different conditions. It is usually the other symptoms you experience along with the discoloration that can be indicators of the overall cause of the discoloration. Black toenails or red nails can indicate a bruise or injury. Yellow toenails can indicate fungus or other illness. Green toenails can mean that there is a bacterial infection or other chronic illness. If you have diabetes or another condition that reduces the blood flow and inhibits healing, you should see your doctor right away.

Treatment for Nail Discoloration

Nail discoloration treatments depend on the reason or condition behind the discoloration of the toenails. Your doctor should evaluate what the cause of your discolored toenails is and then we can explore treatment options. The most common condition we see associated with discolored toenails is nail fungus.

Diagnosing Nail Discoloration

What should you expect when visiting South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers for treatment? Our goal is to discover what is causing your toenail discoloration and find the right treatment option for you. Diagnosing nail discoloration involves a physical examination of your feet and evaluating the different causes. The foot doctor might scrape a small piece of your discolored toenail to run tests that will let them know if it is a fungus, bacteria, or infection. Our doctors have clinical experience and expertise in dealing with all different kinds of conditions that affect the feet. Rest assured that you can trust their knowledge and experience as they work with you toward treatment goals involving better health of your feet, ankles, and knees.


Don’t live with any embarrassing nail discoloration for another day! We offer treatment at locations across South Florida, including Royal Palm Beach. Our podiatrists are very experienced in diagnosing and treating nail discoloration. We accept all major insurance providers. Call 561-793-6170 to schedule an appointment or complete form.

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