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White Toenails?

picture of white toenail with onychomycosisIf you drop something heavy on your finger nail or toenail, you may break blood vessels and cause bleeding under the nail. Most people have had a black nail in their life. This is a normal injury, which typically heals within a few weeks. Sometimes, a trauma does not cause broken blood vessels, and a white spot or lines appear under the nail. The spot or lines will get bigger as the nail grows out. This could be a sign of danger.

Recurring trauma, such as the one caused by tight shoes or high heels, may provide an opportunity for fungi to get under the nail and start an infection, commonly known as toenail fungus or onychomycosis.

Don’t worry about the white lunula, white crescent shaped area close to the proximal nail fold, from which the nail comes out. As long as it looks natural or typical for your nails you are OK (see the illustration).

If your nails show any signs of what you see on this picture, it is strongly recommended that you see a foot and ankle doctor for the diagnosis and possible treatment of white toenails.

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