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Dr. Stan
Dr. Stan, Medical Physician and Surgeon
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 2701
Experience:  Johns Hopkins Fellowship Trained, Certified and Licensed Medical Physician and Surgeon
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I noticed about a year or so ago that my toenails are growing crooked (sideways). I just had an ingrown toenail removed yesterday & asked the dr if I had a toenail deformity & all he could say was "yes". He said it might have been from some kind of shoes I wore in the past and it is just now catching up with me. Can this be stopped and what causes it. He said I do not have a fungus. My left big toe and toe beside it is especially growing sideways, but all my toenails are growing to the side. Any answers or pictures would be helpful. I'm just hoping that in the future, this will not cause a problem in me walking, ex: will be toes eventually turn sideways? Help please.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Stan replied 6 years ago.

Welcome to Just Answer:

In general fungal infection is the most common cause of deformed toenails. Other causes include trauma or chronic pressure from abnormally fitted foot wear, or autoimune connective tissue condition such as scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis. If such changes involve the root of the nail, it is possible for the deformity to be permanent. Your doctor through careful examination would determine that, but it is unlikely based of the your description. In general, the course of growth can be re-directed with treatment of the underlying cause.

If you doctor determied that you do not have a nail fungi by testing the nail in culture, then it is not fungus. However, if the nail was not cultured or tested to determine the nature of the nail, then I suggest that a culture is needed to conclusively diagnose this condition. On the other hand, to consider other possibilities, I suggest that tests including ANA, RF, ESR, C-reactive protein, Scl 70, and/or ANCA panel be tested to help in the search for the underlying cause, and determine the best treatment.

In the meantime, I suggest that you wear wider front-based foot wear and maintain good vitamin supplements especially B-complexes, C, D, and E. If you are determined to have one of the above connective tissue condtions, then treating it will help in re-directing toenail growth. I suggest that you share this information with your doctor for further consideration.

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

My dr did not do a culture, he just looked at them - did not touch/examine them, but just said "you definitely do not have a fungus - that I know." If this was caused by shoes being too tight from years of wearing (which I haven't worn those type shoes in about 5-6 years now & I'm 56), why aren't all my toes bent sideways? Granted, my left big toe is slanted somewhat and some other toes are maybe slanted in the opposite direction and my 2 toes beside the big toe are not slanted - they are hammer toes though, especially the left one.


Previously, I asked if there were pictures and from the toenails growing sideways/slanted, do you think my toes will eventually turn more sideways?