Signs and Symptoms of Toenails turning Blue
Signs and symptoms that are associated with the nails turning blue are:
First symptom a person starts noticing is the color change in their nails. Color of a normal nail is supposed to be pink. This issue happens when color changes to light blue or dark blue. Nail at first decolorizes and then changes its color.
In most cases, lack of oxygen is the reason for the toenails turning blue. So, if your body does not get enough oxygen, normal body functions start getting affected. Oxygen is main component in production of energy in our body. If a person is unable to breathe properly and might even feel dizziness because of this. Breathlessness can also lead a person to faint or feel nauseous. Weakness also happens due to lack of oxygen in the body.
In some cases, there is a mild to severe pain in blue fingernail. Toenails might turn blue due to some injury. If this is the case, then that area will have constant pain and inflammation. When touched, the area might feel warm and tender. In other cases, there is a pain in the toe while touching it. Mostly the biggest toe gets affected and turns blue. If pain and numbness do not go away with time, immediate medical assistance should be sought.
In many cases, toenails that have turned blue also turn numb. Numbness is lack of any sensation in the feet. A person feels nothing while moving or walking. Sometimes whole leg becomes numb and a person even finds it difficult to walk. This usually happens in colder temperatures. Numbness is sometimes followed by pain and a tingling sensation in whole feet or just in the toe area.
Sometimes, feet suddenly turn ice cold in these cases, in addition to the numbness,feet turn unnaturally cold. They even start getting stiffer. Numbness and cold feet are two conditions that go hand in hand. Coldness of the feet can be due to the lack of blood flow or the lack of oxygen in the body. Blood helps regulate the temperature of a human body and if blood flow to an organ stops, then that area turns cold.
In most cases of injury, there is a swelling on the toenail. Sometimes whole leg swells up. Toenail is an essential component of a person’s feet. So any issue with it affects the whole feet equally. Swollen areas pain on touching and these is a constant inflammation. A person finds it difficult to walk or run. If swelling prevails, getting it checked by the doctor.
Causes for your Toenails turning Blue
There can be a lot of causes for toenails turning blue. Some of them are as follows:
Argyria or Silver poisoning
Argyria or silver poisoning is a condition in which a person’s body reacts to excessive exposure to silver and its compounds. This usually makes whole body turn blue including the toenails. Argyria is of two types local and general. Local Argyria only affects a certain part of the body that has been exposed to the excess silver and its compounds whereas in the general one, whole body is affected. This is usually caused due to prolonged exposure or ingestion of excess colloidal silver.
Other symptoms apart from blue body parts are fever and gastrointestinal problems:
Lack of Oxygen
Lack of oxygen is the biggest reason in the fingernails turning blue. Lack of oxygen can be due to a lot or reasons. Sometimes after running or doing strenuous workouts toenails of people turn blue for some time, this is due to lack of oxygen.
Lung disease causing breathing problems
Lung diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, and other respiratory disorders lead to the constriction of oxygen flow in the body. This lack of oxygen is mostly responsible for the toenails turning blue. Fingernails and toenails of people with respiratory problems are usually blue due to under oxygenated blood flow to them.
High levels of hemoglobin
In many cases, high levels of hemoglobin are also responsible for turning toenails blue. As already mentioned, skin beneath the toenail is responsible for change in its color. So anytime color of blood changes the color of the toenail.
When cold weather starts many people experience blue toenails. This is due to constriction in the blood flow in blood vessels. Cold temperature thickens the blood and the transportation of the blood is affected. Keeping the feet in the hot water is helpful.
Wearing tight socks or shoes can also lead to toenails turning blue. During pregnancy many women find their toenails turn blue this is partially due to constrictions caused due to swelling up of the toes and partly due to hypertension.
Wilson’s disease is an autoimmune disorder caused due to exposure of excessive copper into the body. If a person ingest more copper than is required by body, this happens. Nails turn blue at the base and the upper parts decolorizes. This disease is typically treated with some dietary changes and lessening the copper intake through food.
Raynaud’s disease is a condition in which the small arteries carrying blood to fingers and toes gets narrowed and stops circulating blood to the specific areas. This usually happens due to stress or cold temperatures. Low blood flow to these areas causes nails to turn blue. This disease is most common in women than in men. This disease is not very serious and can be treated easily.
Should you be worried?
In most cases, toenails turning blue should not worry you that much. But if toenails remain blue for a long time and the conditions like toenails turning blue and falling off happens, medical assistance is needed. Blueness in the toenails should go within a day or two. anything that exceeds this time period should be checked. You might be suffering from a deadly lung disease or might have poisoned yourself with silver.
Treatment for the fingernails turning blue is usually done using home remedies and small changes in lifestyle.
The following things can be done:
Determine the issue
If toenail has been blue for a long period of time, it is advisable to get it checked with the doctor. Doctor will enquire about the other problems associated with the change in color of your toenail and run a few tests to accurately determines cause of the condition. If there are any lung disease tests like x-rays also need to be done. With proper information in hand, he will accurately provide you with the treatment and medicines accordingly.
Soak in warm water
If feet are cold and nails have turned blue, this is most definitely due to cold temperature. Take a tub of warm water and soak your feet in it for about 15 to 20 minutes. This will normalize the blood flow in the body and the nails will turn back to their normal shade. You can alternatively take a warm shower to normalize the full body temperature.
Wearing tight fitted shoes or socks that can constrict the flow of blood feet, then this is one of the reasons for blue fingernails. So wearing shoes too tight for your feet should be avoided especially in case of workout shoes because space for the leg to move is very important. Similarly, socks that have very tight elastic bands should be avoided as they also block the blood flow to the legs.
Eating a well-balanced diet that is rich in nutrients is very important in maintaining a healthy blood flow in the body. Since blood flow is the biggest reason for the fingernails turning blue. A good diet is very important.