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Date of last update: 10/18/2017.

Forum Name: Dermatology Topics

Question: repeated interruption of toenail growth

 naf - Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:29 pm

Hi, last year my toe nails (specifically the nails on my big toes) experienced temporary interruption in growth. The left was more severe as it actually detached partially at the cuticle and the right merely had a deep groove. I was referred to a dermatologist who said that it was probably viral and sent me on my way.

This year I experienced a less severe but similar occurence. Once again I've developed fairly substantial grooves in my toenails (and once again the left is slightly more severe than the right) although not as severely as last year. The strange thing about this is that, from what I can recall, this has happened in the same time frame (around October) each year - I don't remember it having happened noticeably prior to two years ago. Is this just coincidence or are there some conditions that might behave like this?

 John Kenyon, CNA - Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:21 pm

User avatar Hello --

This really sounds like a fungal problem to me, and it would be helpful if your doctor would have cultured the affected area at the time. It still could be done to useful effect. If no fungal infection is found then other things need to be explored. It is possible, but unlikely, this could be caused by a virus, and if so, it would be very difficult to detect. However, it would also be very unlikely to repeat as is happening now, whereas fungal infections do recur repeatedly.

You may need to be seen by a podiatrist to get the answer to this, and it may well be worth it, since fungal infections of this sort often are early signs of diabetets (something very easy to check for, and which very often goes overlooked). You're probably too young to have this be the problem, but leave no stone unturned anyway, as this will eventually become pretty annoying at best if it continues.

Good luck to you. Please follow up with us as needed.
 naf - Sat May 23, 2009 7:19 pm

I've had multiple recurrances now, so I will go and get it checked out with my doctor again. Thanks a lot for the input! I'll be sure to mention it to him.

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