Have you ever noticed that one or more of your toenails have turned white? If you have, you may be wondering what could be causing this change in color. While there are several reasons why toenails may turn white, one possible cause is webbed toes.
Webbed toes, also known as syndactyly, is a rare condition that affects approximately one in 2,000 births. People with this condition have two or more toes that are partially or fully joined by a flexible skin bridge. While syndactyly most commonly affects the second and third toes, it can occur between any of the toes.
The exact cause of webbed toes is still unknown. Some cases may be congenital, meaning the condition is present at birth and may be inherited through genes. In other cases, webbed toes may be associated with other medical conditions.
So, how does webbed toes cause toenails to turn white? When toes are webbed, it can be difficult to properly clean and dry the skin between them. This can create a moist environment that is ideal for fungal infections to develop. One such infection, known as toenail fungus or onychomycosis, can cause the toenails to become thick, discolored, and white. If left untreated, the fungus can spread, making the toenail more brittle and potentially causing it to break off.
If you suspect that your white toenails may be caused by webbed toes and a fungal infection, it is recommended to see a podiatrist. Dr. Gilbert Huang DPM is a specialist in foot and ankle health who can accurately diagnose and treat your condition. He may recommend an antifungal medication or topical treatment, or in severe cases, recommend surgery to separate the webbed toes.
While webbed toes can be a rare and complex condition, the good news is that treatment options are available. Don’t let white toenails or other foot conditions go untreated. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Gilbert Huang DPM today to get back on the path to full foot health.