Toenail Dystrophy

Have you noticed that your nails are changing?

Maybe becoming thick, discolored, lifting, crumbling?

Many believe that any change of the nails is due to a fungus of the nails, but this is not always the case.

Causes of Nail Dystrophy
  • Trauma: poor fitting shoes, running and dropping items on the toes are all common traumatic causes of changes to the nails that can mimic fungal infections
  • Systemic conditions: psoriasis, thyroid dysfunction, vitamin deficiencies
  • Vascular conditions: arterial insufficiency, venous insufficiency, lymphedema

Once there has been damage to a nail plate there may always be an abnormal appearance to the nail.

When trauma occurs to a nail there is commonly permanent damage to the nail matrix, where the new nail cells are produced, and it will continuously grow abnormally.

In some conditions where the nail dystrophy is from a systemic condition or vitamin deficiency, if the condition is better controlled and deficiency reversed, then it may be possible to return the nail to a more normal appearance.

Treatment Options

Once the cause of the nail dystrophy is determined, appropriate treatment can begin. Again, treatment will be based on the cause of the dystrophy, but sometimes the cause can be unknown.

In these situations there are still treatments to help improve the appearance of the nail with the understanding the nail will continue to grow abnormally.

Laser Therapy For Unsightly Nails

Laser therapy can be used to effectively treat unsightly nails because it stimulates nail growth by penetrating the nail matrix and improves the overall appearance of the nail.

Plus, often with trauma to the nail, the nail lifts from the nail bed and it’s the PERFECT opportunity for fungus to take hold. The laser therapy, along with a comprehensive treatment plan that is individualized for your needs and lifestyle, can help to you regain clearer, healthy nails.

Conchita had an issue that is so very common – she had trauma to her toenail years ago and overtime the nail started to pull away from the nail bed.

She developed fungus and has shared her story of how laser treatment has restored her nails to clear and healthy again. See the results for yourself below.

If you are experiencing foot pain, call our office or make an online appointment



Absolutely amazing staff! Smiling faces, compassion and understanding! Couldn’t have asked for a better experience!

Amanda Rugg


I was frankly shocked at how good they were at EVERYthing. They saw me less than 2 hours after I called. Dr. Barko was ebullient and professional. You can ask them questions via TXT, which is huge. Their offices are spic-n-span and modern. Basically, they're knocking it out of the park. I don't wish for more in-grown toenails, but if it happens, I'm going straight back to Lexington Podiatry.

Mick Jeffries


I love Lexington Podiatry! The staff is always so helpful, and attentive. I love Dr. Freels. She is top notch, and is always so happy to see me, and listens to me about what is going on.

Amie Castle


Dr. Carter diagnosed and created a treatment plan in minutes- other podiatrists have treated me incorrectly for years. So pleased to have answers and solutions.

Katy Perkins


My left foot had been hurting for a while. The staff and doctors here are all quite knowledgeable and professional, as well as friendly and personable. My diagnosis was promptly made, x-ray completed right there in the office, and I left with the two braces that I needed. No waiting for the mail, trip to brace shop, nada. Most excellent clinic!

Susan Bell

Accepted Insurance Providers

There may be providers, plans and coverage not included on this list. We will help you with navigating the options for coverage and costs. We also accept HSA, Flex accounts, Care Credit and prompt pay pricing for treatment at the clinic and surgical procedures. We do not accept Medicaid or CareSource plans at this time. Visit our New Patient page for more details.