Bacterial Toenail Infections

If you’ve noticed your toenails have turned green, we at Mercer-Ocean Podiatry are ready to help. Bacterial infections are a common cause of discoloration and we can provide treatments for them. But preventing recurrences will likely require a change in the patient’s lifestyle.


The bacterium that causes green nails, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, thrives in damp places. It often occurs alongside fungal infections. Toenails and fingernails form a seal that keeps out moisture, but when they are damaged, bacteria are able to enter the body. Infections are most common among people whose work keeps them in contact with water and exposes them to minor nail injuries. Toenail infections are also common when peoples’ sweat pools in shoes they spend hours wearing.


When a patient comes in with darkly discolored toenails, we may do tests to determine whether the cause is an infection or something that looks similar, such as melanoma. If the discoloration is clearly caused by bacteria, we can recommend vinegar soaks and topical antibacterial creams. The patient will also need to trim their nails to reduce their risk of one being lifted and breaking the moisture seal, and change their footwear more frequently to remove sweat.


Dr. Frank Killian and Dr. Sameep Chandrani run Mercer-Ocean Podiatry. For the location at 2103 Whitehorse Mercerville Road, Hamilton Township, New Jersey, 08619, call 609-585-3200. For the location at 202 Rte 37 W, Suite 4, Toms River, New Jersey, 08755, call 732-557-4266. Visit New Jersey Foot.


 

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