The overall appearance of your toenails can change in all sorts of ways for many different reasons. While some people are able to easily identify an ingrown toenail or toenail fungus, you could face other issues that are important not to ignore. One issue is known as nail clubbing, which can often be a symptom of a serious health issue. If you've noticed nail clubbing, try to visit a local podiatrist promptly. This foot specialist will be able to determine if you indeed have this nail issue, and can discuss various treatment options for you. Here are three indicators of nail clubbing.
Widening Of Your Nails
One of the easiest ways to identify nail clubbing is to notice a change in the overall appearance of your nails. This condition causes your toenails to get wider. For example, you should likely have a good idea of how wide your toenails are. You might be surprised to realize that they look wider than they used to be. It's important not to dismiss this suspicion, even if it seems unlikely in some way. Visiting a podiatrist will allow a foot care professional to determine if you do indeed have nail clubbing.
Curving At The End
Another indicator that you have nail clubbing is that your nails curve at the end. For example, as the end of the nail lengthens, it will curve downward toward the toe, rather than continue sticking out straight. Some people describe this phenomenon as the toenail taking on a spoon-like appearance. If you imagine placing a small spoon over your toe, top side down, this can somewhat mimic the curve that appears in a toenail that has nail clubbing.
Softness In The Nail Bed
In the anatomy of a toenail, the nail bed is the tissue that is situated between the nail and the toe. Its primary purpose is to hold the nail in place. When you experience nail clubbing, it's common to develop a softness in the nail bed. It might initially be difficult to notice this change, but one way that it manifests is that the nail begins to seem loose. If you gently touch the surface of the toenail, for example, you might notice that the nail is able to slide around in an unexpected way. If you've noticed one of these symptoms that may suggest nail clubbing, contact a local podiatry clinic to set up an appointment.
For more information, contact a foot specialist near you.