Is this toenail fungus or something else?

Patient

Q: Hello,
Thank you for looking at my question. I'm a 30 year old male. I'm wondering what could be wrong with my toenail. About two weeks ago I noticed a red horizontal band going across the toenail on my big toe from underneath the nail. I assume this is from some type of trauma but I simply can't remember if I dropped anything on my toe or not, I have a bad memory. It wasn't like a red spot, but a perfect shaped band going across from one to the other. After examining the red band a few days later, I noticed there was a white ridge (raised and brittle to the touch) that was also going across the toenail, but this seemed to be mostly on the outside or external of the nail while the red band was on the inside. The red band was in the nail bed area and the white ridge was closer to the lunula, right on the border of the lunula where the nail bed starts. Both of them seemed to go perfectly across the nail from one end to the other, but the red band was wider than the thin white ridge.

Two weeks later, and the white ridge now seems to be spreading into the area where the red band was, except the part that is spreading looks like a white circle beneath the nail while the original ridge is still above the nail and in the same place it originally was. It looks as if the white circular area that is spreading is pushing itself into the red band area and the red band area has now become distorted and is no longer a perfectly shaped horizontal band across the toe. There is also very slight intermittent pain in the toe today that wasn't there before. I'm assuming this is some sort of fungus and the red area was blood trapped beneath the toe from trauma, but do you think I'm correct in assuming this or could it be something else? I can't find any pictures that look like what I have.

I've included a picture I took of my toenail yesterday after I noticed the white area spreading towards the red band beneath the nail. You can see the white raised ridge going horizontally across while a white circle seems to be spreading from that beneath the nail and distorting the red band that was once perfectly horizontal as well. The dark red area you see that appears to be spreading towards the edge of the nail is what was originally part of the red band. The white and brittle looking area in the top right corner of the nail is not related to any of this, that's just how the edges of my nails always look after trimming.

Thank you for your time,
CJ

Doctor

A:   This question is currently in queue and will be answered shortly by one of our doctors. In the meantime you may browse our library of answered questions by clicking here.

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