They rub against shoes, stub against objects, and are often in closed, dark places with lots of fungi and bacteria (the insides of your shoes can be dirty too).
With these conditions that are toenails are often subject too, it's no wonder they have these three common toenail problems.
Ingrown Toenail You get an ingrown toenail, usually on the big toe, when the edge of the toenail grows into the skin beside it.
This can be very painful and often accompanied by swelling, redness, and discharge of pus that is a common characteristic of an infection.
The ingrown part of the toenail is usually invisible because it is below the skin.
An ingrown toenail can be caused by improperly fitting shoes or socks or by having an abnormal toe shape.
Treatment of an ingrown toenail involves having the ingrown part of the nail removed.
There may be cases where surgery is necessary.
Removal of the ingrown toenail can alleviate the pain but it can be a recurring problem.
Fungus Toenail fungus is also known as onychomycosis.
It is a slow-growing infection that affects the nail and the skin under it.
This is usually caused by the same type of fungus that cause's athlete's foot.
People who are likely to have athlete's foot may also be at risk of toenail fungal infections.
Toenail fungal infections can be seen as a yellow, brown, or white discoloration of the toenail.
Eventually, the toenail will thicken and have debris.
This infection can be difficult to treat because it is located under the nail.
The most successful treatment method has been oral antifungal medicine, with the downside of having side effects.
Toenail Trauma Injuries done to the nail's matrix, or growth center, can result in a lot of changes to the nail.
Toenails can experience chronic and repetitive trauma from rubbing against a shoe when walking or running.
Trauma can come from an acute injury, like stubbing the toe or having something dropped on it.
There may be blood and bruising under the toenail, the toenail can thicken, or you can even lose the toenail completely.
When a nail does come loose, there may be secondary fungal or bacterial infection that occurs.
Acute trauma can also cause the bone under the nail to fracture.
Depending on the amount of trauma and damage to the nail and its surround skin, you may need to get medical help.