Nail Problems

Nail Problems

Nail problems can range from relatively harmless, like brittle or dry nails, to more severe conditions that may require medical attention. Some nail problems can make moving or using the affected hand or foot difficult. If you experience any symptoms, it's crucial to consult a podiatrist of any changes in the condition of your nails, as some of these issues could indicate an underlying health issue.

Some common nail problems include:

Splitting or breaking nails 

Yellowing nails 

Thickening nails 

An infection 


Ingrown toenails 


Dry and cracked nails 

White patches or streaks 

Brittle nails 

Ridged nails 

Fungal nails/onychomycosis 

Many of these conditions can be prevented by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and properly caring for your nails.

Symptoms of Nail Problems

  1. Brittle or splitting nails 
  2. Discoloration or yellowing of the nails 
  3. White spots or streaks on the nails 
  4. Thickened or rippled texture of the nails 
  5. Foul-smelling discharge from beneath the nails 
  6. Pain and inflammation around the nail or finger 
  7. Fungal or bacterial infections of the nails

Some Causes of Nail Problems

  • Overuse or improper use of artificial nails -
  • Injury 
  • Infection 
  • Mineral deficiency (particularly calcium and iron) 
  • Poor nutrition 
  • Psoriasis 
  • Exposure to harsh chemicals 
  • Underlying medical condition
  • Nail biting 
  • Excessive hand washing 
  • Inadequate cutting of nails and cuticles

Why Do I Keep Having Nail Problems? 

Many factors, such as infection, trauma, vitamin deficiency, fungus, or an underlying medical condition, can cause nail problems. To prevent nail problems, keep your hands and feet clean and dry, trim your nails regularly, and avoid cutting them too short. Also, avoid harsh chemicals when cleaning your hands and wear protective gloves when contacting water. Eating a balanced diet with vitamins and minerals can help maintain healthy nails. 

If you are struggling with recurring nail problems, consider seeing a podiatrist for further evaluation.

Proper Nail Care for Healthy Nails 

  1. Keep your nails clean and dry: Make sure to wash and dry your hands and nails often, especially after coming in contact with soaps, detergents, and chemicals. 
  2. Trim your nails regularly: Regularly trim them using a pair of stainless steel nail clippers, ensuring you cut them straight across and do not leave them too long. 
  3. Moisturize: To avoid dryness and brittleness, regularly massage a moisturizing product (like cuticle oil) into the base of your nails and cuticles.
  4. Avoid biting and pulling: Biting or pulling your nails or cuticles can cause them to tear or become damaged. 
  5. Don't soak your nails: Soaking them in water for too long can make them dry, brittle, and prone to breaking and splitting. 
  6. Wear protective gloves: When cleaning, gardening, or doing household chores, make sure to wear protective gloves to keep your nails and skin safe from any harsh chemicals or abrasive surfaces. 
  7. Use polish sparingly: If you use nail polish, use a non-toxic, water-based one and only apply one coat.

Healthy Foods for Healthy Nails!

  1. Salmon: Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon helps keep nails strong and healthy. 
  2. Walnuts: Walnuts are a prime source of biotin, which helps promote nail growth and strength. 
  3. Dark, Leafy Greens: Dark, leafy greens are packed with vitamins A and C, which contribute to healthy nail growth. 
  4. Eggs: Eggs are a great source of protein, which your nails need to stay strong and healthy. 
  5. Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are excellent sources of beta-carotene, which your body needs to produce vitamin A, essential for healthy nails. 
  6. Yogurt: Yogurt is an excellent source of calcium and protein, both of which help keep nails strong. 
  7. Oranges: Oranges are packed with vitamin C, which helps promote healthy and strong nails. 
  8. Fish Oil Supplements: Supplements with fish oil are a fantastic way to consume enough omega-3 fatty acids.

How Can a Podiatrist Help With Nail Problems? 

A podiatrist can treat nail problems such as thickening, brittle or cracked nails, brittle or soft nails, fungal infections and an ingrown toenail. They can usually recommend antifungals, antibiotics, and medications to help reduce the nails' thickness after a thorough evaluation. They can also use mechanical debridements with drills or blades to reduce the thickness of the nail. They can provide advice and regular follow-up on foot care and manage any complications associated with the problem. They can also provide orthotics, foam padding and supportive taping to the toes to help offload pressure over the nail area.

Planning Your Next Visit

For patients of all ages, our clinic in Ottawa provides individualized and compassionate care. We offer the most up-to-date techniques to support your return to an active and healthy lifestyle. Let's create the ideal strategy to help you heal and take action to prevent any further issues!

Are you trying to find the best podiatry treatment in Ottawa? Contact Greenberg Podiatry to speak with one of our experts and receive personalized guidance. It's a simple action that can have a significant impact!