If you're not pleased with the color of your toenails, you might paint them, avoid wearing open-toed shoes, and go to other means to keep people from seeing your toenails. Many people's toenails develop a yellowish hue, especially as they age, and this can often be unsightly. Instead of looking for ways to cover up your toenails, you're better off scheduling an appointment at your local podiatry clinic, such as Foot & Ankle Care Center PA. A podiatrist will thoroughly inspect your toenails and help you in this manner.
Determine The Cause
Your podiatrist will be able to uncover the probable cause behind your discolored toenails following a visual inspection and some questions about your symptoms. If your toenails have yellowed, a common culprit is toenail fungus. In some cases, the yellowing of the nails will be paired with an unpleasant odor — another indicator that fungus is present.
Care For Your Toenails at the Clinic
Once the podiatrist is able to assess the reason for your toenail discoloration, he or she can provide some care for the issue. Yellowed toenails can't be fixed immediately, but the right care —starting at the clinic and continuing after you return home — can make a big difference. One way that your podiatrist may care for your toenails is to trim them down a little. Often, yellowed toenails are also thickened, which can further make you feel self-conscious about their appearance. Using a specialized grinding tool, your podiatrist can shave some of the toenail material off the tops of the nails to remove some of the yellowing, as well as give them more of a proper appearance.
Offer Some Home Care Tips
To take care of your yellowed toenails, you'll need to address the issue in the days and weeks ahead. Your podiatrist will commonly recommend specific anti-fungal ointments for you to try. He or she will show you how to apply the ointment to the toenails, as well as provide education on how often to reapply this product. Additionally, the podiatrist will discuss with you some easy ways that you can make your feet less resistant to fungal growth. These tips can include keeping them dry, which you can often accomplish by changing your socks frequently, and even going barefoot when you're able — at home, for example — because fungus is more apt to grow in moist environments. You can feel free to schedule follow-up appointments with your podiatrist, especially if you continue to have trouble with your toenails.