There can be many things that make you worry about your feet, and that includes your toenails. Like your feet, nails are stuck in the dark, damp environment of shoes, which is a breeding ground for infection-causing bacteria and fungi.
But toenails have another potential problem. They are also prone to infection and injury from the pedicure and if cut too much or too close. It can certainly be difficult to distinguish nail odors from toenail odors (which have so many different causes in and of themselves), and bending down to try to inhale is not what you want the most right now.
Still, there are other specific toenail signs that can tell you that your nails are responsible for the stench. Look for changes in color and texture. Toenails are a problem if they become thick and discolored. You should also pay attention to your feet. If you don’t see flaking and dry or cracked skin, but there is still a really nasty smell, your nails may be the problem.
Why do your toenails smell bad?
It’s your toenail style
Both long and short can cause problems. If you keep them too short, they can make you prone to ingrown, allowing fungus to enter. An ingrown is when one side of the toenail grows into the skin of your toe. This could also lead to an infection in the surrounding skin.
Too long nails get stuck in the front of the shoes over time with each step, leading to lifting, damage, and also the potential for fungus and bacteria to enter. Cut the nails in a straight line so that the corners sit smoothly against the skin; avoid overly straight, super rounded or V-shaped edges.
It is a fungal infection
Fungal infections become infected deep under the nail plate and under and behind the cuticle in the womb, which is where the nail cells that grow the nail live.
Check the color of your toenails. There may be a fungal infection if the nails are yellow, green, brown, or white, are spreading, are thick, or are rising from the nail bed. Pain and dirt buildup under the nail are other signs.
If you think you may have an infection, call a podiatrist. Trying to indulge yourself with over-the-counter or home remedies can cause more problems. Fungi are spread, contagious, and can be difficult to treat and cure.
It is a nail mold
If the nail plates lift and separate and the gap between the nail and the bed becomes moldy (from trapped moisture), it could cause an odor.
The appearance will also be green. However, don’t worry too much because it is actually not dangerous. But because it’s gross and smells bad, you’ll want to see a podiatrist for treatment.
Are your shoes
If your shoes or socks are stinkier, your nails can absorb those smells. To reduce shoe odor, it is recommended to spray your feet with talcum powder , use antiperspirant for the feet to keep them dry, or spray the shoes with a shoe spray that eliminates the odor.
Are your socks
The same reason as the shoes. Change your socks more often (and don’t reuse them in a row), choose materials that absorb moisture and natural odor (like merino wool or copper-infused fibers). And keep your sock style simple.
Stay away from too many colors and patterns. Dyes and colors can also stimulate odors by decreasing breathability.
Why do your feet smell like cheese?
If you notice dirt sticking around the cuticle, at the corners of the nails, or between the nail bed and the nail bed, you could call this “nail cheese.” It may or may not smell, depending on its composition. They actually have another name: ” subungular debris .”
This is a build-up and combination of any of the following: infected or uninfected dead skin and nails, sock lint, and soap residue. A good cleaning should clear it up, but if not, make an appointment with your doctor.