Foul smelling toenails can cause frustration, insecurity, and discomfort. Foul smells are generally considered by society to be caused by poor hygiene, a bad odor coming from your nails can cause social problems, even leading to social isolation. This is because people may not want to be physically near you if your toenails smell extremely bad. Bad smells coming from the body are typically caused by improper washing habits, which can be easily remedied. However, foul smelling toenails are a different issue that is often much more difficult to treat than a simple change in hygiene habits. Toenail fungus is a common cause of the toenails themselves to smell.
Foul smelling toenails are frequently caused by infectious fungal spores. Infection with spores of this nature is a fairly common condition that is spread between people very easily. Because the condition is so contagious and can be spread before symptoms truly show, it is often hard to determine where the fungus was caught from. The mystery of the origin of the infection can lead people to assume that their fungus is because they’re dirty. However, the fungus is an infectious organism and can easily infect any nail bed that it comes into contact with. Fungal infections of this nature can happen to everybody, even the cleanest of people. That is not to say that some people aren’t at an increased risk of infection. For example, fungus does grow more easily in people with certain immune diseases. However, anybody is still at risk of fungal infections.
Foul smelling toenails because of fungus are often worse in the hot summer months. These summer months are great times for fungus to grow, because fungal spores love dark, damp, and moist environments. Increased temperatures and humidity during the summer causes peoples shoes and socks to become very sweaty, which is the perfect environment for fungal growth. The fungal smell coming from your toenails will become stronger and stronger as the fungus grows to infect more of your nail bed. The heat itself will also make the smell coming from your toenails stronger. Heat makes the scent project over a further distance, so the foul smell under your toes will be worse on a hot summer day versus a cool winter one.
To determine the cause of your foul smelling toenails, you should be seen by a podiatrist. However, there are a few signs of toenail fungus that you can look for first. If the foul smell is coming directly from the nail bed rather than the skin of the foot, this is a sign that a toenail fungus could be a cause. Bad smelling feet that aren’t caused by fungus normally will smell better after a thorough washing with soap and water. Take care to wash your toes thoroughly in the shower every day and see if you notice improvement in the smell. If the smell stays exactly the same, it could be because of a toenail fungus. Fungus won’t be removed from under the nail bed with normal cleaning practices, so no matter how thoroughly you wash your feet the fungus will still be under the nail. You should also take note of if the smell changes when you are trimming your toenails. The fungus spores attach to the underside of the nail and the nail bed, so trimming your nails can free fungus into the air and cause an increase in the potency of the smell.
Foul smelling toenails are just one of many symptoms of toenail fungus. The other symptoms of the condition are usually aesthetic, and involve changes in the nail’s texture and color. The aesthetic changes that toenail fungus can cause can range from subtle to extreme changes. Usually, toenails that are infected with a fungus will develop some sort of discoloration as a first symptom. The discoloration can come in many different colors, and is frequently yellow, brown, white, or black in color. It will usually start out as a small dot or stripe on the nail’s surface and then grow to cover a larger portion of the surface of the nail.
Treating toenail fungus is often a daunting task, as many treatments available for the condition carry risk of harsh side effects and lack effectiveness. However, foul smelling toenails can be treated in a safer, more effective way. Laser treatments like the PinPointe laser have the benefit of not using any chemicals to treat the fungus. The PinPointe laser has no side effects, and is safe for a majority of people, even with pre-existing conditions. The only pre-existing condition that conflicts with the laser treatment is peripheral neuropathy from diabetes. Also, the PinPointe laser only requires one treatment to completely eliminate the fungus from the nail bed. You can schedule an appointment for consultation with one of our licensed podiatrists at 1-(800) 672-0625. To learn more about the laser itself and how it works, you can also visit our website for more information.