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What causes swollen and discoloured toenail?

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Posted on Fri, 13 May 2016
Question: my right big toe is swollen. has been for 3 months. Lab work shows no gout symptoms. All blood work was completely normal. Podiatrist took x-rays, saw nothing unusual. The toenail is slightly discolored (light brown) and has not grown in length for 3 months. No ingrown toenail. Area around toenail is swollen and hurts with certain shoes and sandals. I am now being referred to a rheumatalogist. Any ideas what this could be?
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Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain (16 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Rheumatologic disease, gout, infection,foot care

Detailed Answer:
Hi and Welcome to HCM.
Thanks for the query.

I think the opinion of a rheumatologist is important. It is true that some rare forms of rheumatoid arthritis could present as such. Gout arthritis still remains an option to be considered as some people could develop gout even with normal blood uric acid levels.

A chronic infection like fungal or slow growing bacteria must be carefully checked and excluded during the evaluation process. In case a rheumatological evaluation remains clear , seeing a dermatologist for his opinion might be useful. Avoiding tight shoes and proper foot hygeine for now are important .

Thanks and kind regards

Dr Bain
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Deepak
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Answered by
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Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2009

Answered : 3092 Questions

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What causes swollen and discoloured toenail?

Brief Answer: Rheumatologic disease, gout, infection,foot care Detailed Answer: Hi and Welcome to HCM. Thanks for the query. I think the opinion of a rheumatologist is important. It is true that some rare forms of rheumatoid arthritis could present as such. Gout arthritis still remains an option to be considered as some people could develop gout even with normal blood uric acid levels. A chronic infection like fungal or slow growing bacteria must be carefully checked and excluded during the evaluation process. In case a rheumatological evaluation remains clear , seeing a dermatologist for his opinion might be useful. Avoiding tight shoes and proper foot hygeine for now are important . Thanks and kind regards Dr Bain