Have you ever noticed a strong, unpleasant smell coming from the underside of your toenails? Toenails with a bad smell on the underside can be strange and unpleasant. It is not uncommon for people to notice this strange smell when they take off their shoes or socks or give themselves a pedicure.
While the cause of the bad smell may not be immediately apparent, there are a few reasons why toenails can sometimes have a bad smell on the underside.
A combination of bacteria, fungi, and sweat can cause toenails with a bad smell on the underside. Bacteria and fungi are tiny microorganisms that can grow on the skin and nails. When the skin around the nails becomes moist and warm, it can create an ideal environment for the growth of these microorganisms.
Also, sweat can contribute to bad smells. When the feet become moist and sweaty, it can create a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi, leading to a bad smell on the underside of the toenails. However, this article will explore the various causes of bad-smelling toenails and discuss ways to prevent and treat this issue.
3 Causes of Smell in Underside of Toenails
Bacteria can be a cause of bad-smelling toenails on the underside. Bacteria are tiny microorganisms found everywhere in the environment, including on the skin and nails. Some bacteria are beneficial, while others can cause infections and produce unpleasant odors.
When the skin around the toenails becomes moist and warm, it can create an environment conducive to bacteria growth. This can occur when the feet become sweaty and moist due to factors such as wearing tight or poorly ventilated shoes or not changing socks frequently enough.
When the skin around the toenails becomes moist, it can create an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, which can grow in large numbers and produce a bad smell.
One common type of fungal infection that can affect the toenails is toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis. Toenail fungus can cause the toenails to become thick and discolored, and it can also produce a bad smell.
Also, toenail fungus is caused by a type of fungus called a dermatophyte, which can grow on the nails and skin. Toenail fungus is more common in toenails than in fingernails, and it is more likely to affect people who have diabetes, a weakened immune system, or circulation issues.
Sweat can also be a cause of bad-smelling toenails on the underside. When the feet become moist and sweaty, it can create an environment conducive to the growth of bacteria and fungi, which can produce a bad smell.
Several factors can contribute to sweaty feet, including wearing tight or poorly ventilated shoes, exercising or participating in activities that cause the feet to sweat, and having certain medical conditions that cause excessive sweating. When the feet become sweaty, it can create a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi, which can grow in large numbers and produce a bad smell.
Potential Health Issues Caused Smelly Toes
While a bad smell under the toenails is often harmless, it can sometimes be a sign of a health issue. One potential health issue that can be caused by smelling toenails is a toenail infection, such as an athlete’s foot or toenail fungus. These infections can cause the nails to become thick and discolored, and they can also produce a bad smell. If untreated, toenail infections can spread and cause additional health issues, such as skin irritation.
Certain medical conditions can also make a person more prone to toenail infections. For example, people with diabetes or a compromised immune system may be more at risk of developing toenail infections due to their weakened ability to fight off infections. Toenail infections can be serious for people with these medical conditions, and it is important to seek medical attention if you suspect that you have an infection.
How to Prevent and Get Rid of Smell Under Toenails
You can take several steps to prevent and treat the bad smell under your toenails. Some of the steps include the following:
1. Keep your feet clean and dry
Washing your feet regularly with soap and water can help remove dirt, sweat, and other substances that can contribute to the growth of bacteria and fungi, which can cause a bad smell. Drying your feet thoroughly after washing, especially between the toes, can help prevent moisture from accumulating, reducing the risk of bad-smelling toenails.
2. Trim your toenails regularly
Trimming your toenails regularly can also help prevent the build-up of dirt and bacteria under the nails, which can cause a bad smell. It is important to use clean, sharp nail clippers or scissors to trim your toenails and to avoid cutting the nails too short or too long, as this can increase the risk of infections and other problems.
3. Wear breathable shoes
Wearing shoes that fit properly and allow your feet to breathe can also help prevent your feet from becoming moist and sweaty, reducing the risk of bad-smelling toenails. Look for shoes made of breathable materials, such as leather or mesh, with ample room for your toes to move freely. Avoid wearing tight or poorly ventilated shoes, as these can increase the risk of sweaty feet and bacterial or fungal growth.
4. Use an antifungal powder or spray
Antifungal powder or spray can also help prevent fungal infections and reduce the risk of bad-smelling toenails. Antifungal powders and sprays contain ingredients that kill fungi and can be applied to the feet and inside the shoes to help prevent fungal infections. If you have a fungal infection or are at high risk of developing it.
These preventive measures help keep your feet and toenails healthy and free of bad smells and potential health issues. If you have bad-smelling toenails and have tried practicing good hygiene, but the smell persists, it is a good idea to see a doctor to determine the cause and receive proper treatment.
Toenails can sometimes smell bad on the underside due to bacteria, fungi, and sweat. These microorganisms can grow on the skin and nails and produce a bad smell when the environment is moist and warm. A bad smell under the toenails is often harmless, but it can sometimes be a sign of a health issue, such as a fungal infection or a bacterial infection.
Also, it is important to maintain good foot hygiene to prevent and get rid of bad-smelling toenails. This includes washing the feet regularly with soap and water, drying the feet thoroughly after washing, and wearing clean socks every day.