Soft spots on your toenails or fingernails are relatively common, and rarely form as a result of a serious medical condition. At times, these spots may also be of a different color, and can occur at any time. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort because of a nail soft spot, speak to your doctor or a dermatologist for more information or treatment options.
Toenails and fingernails are made up of calcium and other nutrients stored within your body which continue to accumulate and grow throughout your life. They also serve as a moderate means of protection for your fingers and toes, although most normal nails can be broken with the appropriate amount of force or via injury.
According to FamilyDoctor.org, there are many different medical conditions that may cause you to have brittle or weak spots on your nails, including fungal infection. Infection may cause your nails to turn yellow or white and can lead to soft spots on the surface of the nail. Pain or discomfort may also result, especially on the toes due to continued friction while walking.
Fungal infection can also be seen in the form of athlete’s foot, according to the Mayo Clinic. This condition is very common in nature and often occurs in athletic individuals whose feet tend to sweat frequently. Bacteria may build in your shoes or socks in this case, which may cause the onset of infection unless your feet are otherwise washed thoroughly. Itching or burning may accompany a case of athlete’s foot.
Brittle or soft toenails can have the tendency to break or crumble when left untreated, thus exposing the underlying skin layers. Blunt trauma or injury to your toes can also cause a weak spot in your nail; however, this type of spot can heal on its own as your nail continues to grow. Further infection can be avoided by properly dressing the damaged nail with the help from your doctor.
If your weak toenails are the result of a fungal infection, your doctor may prescribe a topical ointment or lotion to apply directly to the affected area. If you have suffered an injury or other trauma to your toe causing nail weakness, your doctor may have additional treatment options available for your condition.