Ms.Melba

Q:

My godmother had a toe removed two months ago and since then her nails have become grey and disfigured. Why?

Dr. William Sullivan

A:

Nails can become discolored for a number of reasons. A common cause is a fungal infection affecting the toenails, but that would typically lead to whitish nails. Also, fungal infection of the toe nails often leads to thickened nails that are difficult to trim. At times, toes can become grayish when circulation is decreased. Also, when circulation is diminished, the toes are often colder to touch. Your godmother should discuss with her podiatrist why her nails have become grey and disfigured since her recent toe amputation. If there is evidence of diminished circulation, a vascular surgeon may need to be involved, as well.