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Summer’s here and you’re likely showing off your toenails with sandals and open-toed shoes, whether you’re attending local fairs, going on seaside vacations, or hitting area pools. If you have unsightly nails you might be hesitant to wear warm-weather footwear. And for good reason. But did you now that your fingernails and toenails are a prime indicator of your overall state of health?

Now is a good time to take care of any nail issues you may be seeing, both for your health and your appearance, especially if you are noticing a marked change in their appearance – color, shape, thickness, or swelling around the nail areas, bleeding or pain. When your nails have discoloration or thickening, they are telling your something might be wrong with your health. These are indicators of heart conditions, diabetes as well as liver and kidney disease.

Nail problems tend to crop up more as you age, but other factors like trauma, medications, chronic illness, fever, disease and nutrition play a factor in your nail health. For instance, fungal infections of the toenails, which are the culprit in over half of all nail disorders, incidentally, tend to increase in the summertime.

The microorganisms that are responsible for toenail fungus are all around us, including showers, outdoor areas, and hotels and especially your local spa for pedicures. So if you sustain a toenail injury, you’ll want to keep an eye out for it to turn into a fungal infection. Signs to look for include yellowing or whitening of the nail, thickening, and brittleness. Bacterial infections can occur not only by spending a lot of time in water, but by an injury from trimming your nails and poor nail hygiene. You can lower your risk of getting a toenail fungal infection by taking care to wear shower shoes when you are at a public pool or your gym locker room.

Ingrown toenails can happen when you don’t trim your nails correctly or wear tight shoes. Seeing vertical lines under the nail come from splinter hemorrhages arising from injury, disease, or certain drugs, and melanoma which is a skin cancer that appears under a nail and looks like a bad bruise.

If you would like to have a nail abnormality examined by one of our dermatologists in Orem, Utah, Dr. Jenson and Dr. Edwards are here to help. Call Kraig Jenson, PC, Dermatology Center at 801.224.5200 today and get your nails ready for summer!