I don’t know about you but I absolutely detest the smell of toenails when I call them. It gets so bad sometimes that I just get my nails to the salon instead for a pedicure because I cannot be bothered by the toenails’ smell when I cut them. However, over time I realized that it is better that I understand why toenails smell when I cut them. A lot of people have also asked me, why do toenails smell when you cut them?
Toenail odor is a common problem that can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor hygiene, fungal infections, and underlying medical conditions. When bacteria or fungi grow on the nail bed, they can produce odors as a byproduct of their metabolism.
In some cases, the smell may also be due to the presence of keratin debris, which can accumulate under the nails and produce an unpleasant odor. Toenail odor can be especially common in people who sweat excessively or wear tight, closed-toe shoes, as these conditions can create a warm, moist environment that is conducive to the growth of bacteria and fungi. If left untreated, toenail odor can lead to further problems such as infections and foot odor.
This is why we will discuss different reasons why toenails smell when you cut them, and how to get rid of these smells.
Causes of Toenail Odor When They Are Cut
There are different reasons why your toenails can smell when you cut them as we have discussed before. Let’s take a look at them in detail.
1. Bacteria and Fungi
One of the causes of the toenail smell, when you cut them, is the presence of bacteria and fungi on your toenails. When there is a buildup of bacteria and fungi, there is a high probability that your nails will smell when you cut them. This is because bacteria and fungi can grow on the nail bed, particularly if the nails are not kept clean and dry. These microorganisms can produce odors as a byproduct of their metabolism.
2. Poor hygiene
Toenail odor can be caused by poor hygiene, such as not washing the feet regularly or wearing socks and shoes that are not clean. If you have been wearing dirty socks or have been neglecting your feet, over time, the toes and their nails will start emitting a bad odor which can lead to worse issues if left alone for a long time.
3. Tight or non-breathable shoes
Wearing tight or non-breathable shoes can create a warm, moist environment that is conducive to the growth of bacteria and fungi, which can lead to toenail odor. For this reason, when you cut them, your nails can smell funky.
4. Medical conditions
In some cases, toenail odor may be a sign of an underlying medical condition, such as a fungal infection or a problem with the sweat glands. It is important to see a doctor if you are experiencing toenail odor that does not go away with proper hygiene and foot care.
Is it Normal for Your Toenails to Smell?
No, it is not normal for your toenails to have an unpleasant smell. While it is possible for toenails to develop a slight odor due to the presence of bacteria or fungi, this should not be a persistent or strong smell.
If you notice that your toenails have a strong or persistent odor, it is a good idea to seek medical attention as this may be a sign of an underlying problem, such as a fungal infection or a problem with the sweat glands. In some cases, proper hygiene and foot care may be enough to resolve the issue, but it is important to have a doctor evaluate the cause of the odor in order to determine the appropriate course of treatment.
How to Identify Toenail Odor
1. Pay attention to the smell after cutting the nails
One way to identify toenail odor is to pay attention to the smell of your toenails after you cut them. If you notice an unpleasant smell, it may be a sign that there is a problem with the health of your nails.
2. Wear shoes that allow the feet to breathe
Wearing shoes that allow the feet to breathe, such as sandals or shoes with ventilation holes, can help to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi, which can lead to toenail odor. If you notice that your toenails have a strong or persistent odor when you wear closed-toe shoes, it may be a good idea to try wearing more breathable shoes to see if this helps to resolve the issue.
3. Check for other signs of toenail odor
In addition to paying attention to the smell of your toenails, you can also look for other signs of toenail odor, such as discoloration or thickening of the nails, flaky skin around the nails, or an overall unpleasant smell from your feet.
How Do You Get Rid of Smelly Toenails?
When you have smelly toenails, the first thing you think of is how to get rid of the unpleasant smell. There are several methods you can try to get rid of smelly toenails:
1. Wash and dry your feet thoroughly
One of the most effective ways to prevent toenail odor is to wash and dry your feet thoroughly on a daily basis. Be sure to pay attention to the areas between the toes, as this is where bacteria and fungi are most likely to grow.
2. Use antifungal products
If you suspect that your toenail odor is caused by a fungal infection, you may want to try using an over-the-counter antifungal product. There are a variety of antifungal creams, sprays, and powders available that can help to kill the fungi and prevent further growth.
3. Trim your nails regularly
Keeping your nails trimmed and filed can help to prevent the build-up of keratin debris under the nails, which can contribute to toenail odor. It is a good idea to trim and file your nails on a regular basis, especially if you have thick or difficult-to-cut nails.
4. Wear breathable shoes
To get rid of smelly toenails, wear shoes that allow your feet to breathe, such as sandals or shoes with ventilation holes, this can help to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi, which can lead to toenail odor.
5. Try using a foot powder
Use a foot powder to get rid of smelly nails, it can help to absorb excess moisture and keep your feet dry, which can help to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi that can cause toenail odor.
Do Ingrown Toenails Smell?
Yes, ingrown toenails smell. Ingrown toenails may produce an unpleasant smell if they become infected or if bacteria and fungi grow on the nail bed.
Is it normal for toenails to be thick and smell bad?
No, it is not normal for toenails to be thick and smell bad. Thick, smelly toenails may be a sign of an underlying problem, such as a fungal infection or a problem with the sweat glands, and should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.
Toenail odor is a common problem that can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor hygiene, fungal infections, and underlying medical conditions. It is important to address toenail odor as soon as it is noticed in order to prevent further problems such as infections and foot odor.
Some effective ways to prevent and treat toenail odor include washing and drying the feet thoroughly, using antifungal products, trimming the nails regularly, wearing breathable shoes, and using a foot powder.
If these methods do not help to resolve your toenail odor or if you are experiencing other symptoms, it is a good idea to consult a healthcare professional for further evaluation and treatment.