Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What causes toe nails to turn dark orange?"
Why are my toenails turning a dark orange color? This has been getting gradually worse over the course of several months, but I don't have any itching or smells or other athlete's foot symptoms - just the orange color. I do spend a lot of time at the gym, though, for what that's worth...
Nail changes are a common concern for many people. Thankfully, they are rarely serious although the do often require medical evaluation and treatment. The doctors who would be best qualified to discuss this issue with you include your primary care doctor or your dermatologist. A common cause of discolored nails is trauma, for example for stubbing a toe or pounding from running. This causes blood to collect under the nail, which can turn various colors as it ages. Another possibility is a fungal infection of the nails. These can lead to thickening and deformation and color changes of the nails that occurs gradually, as you describe. There is not always itching or an odor. Usually fungal infections need to be treated with oral antifungal agents prescribed by your doctor. Rarely, an underlying medical condition may cause deformity or change in color of the nails. For example, psoriasis can lead to pitting and elevation of the nails from the nail bed, as well as color changes. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular concern will require a physical examination by your personal doctor. Scheduling an office visit with your primary care doctor or dermatologist might be recommended.
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