Nail Fungal Infection
Nail fungus (also known as onychomycosis) is a condition in which one or more of the nails of the toes become infected with fungal organisms, it affects mainly the toenails than the fingernails. This causes a yellowing or other discoloration of the nail as the fungus moves deeper into the tissue. Nail fungus can be painful and may eventually lead to the separating of the nail and nail bed, a condition known as onycholysis.
Fungal infections are fairly common because microscopic fungal (dermatophyte fungi), yeast and mold organisms are present everywhere in the environment. If you a prone to athlete's foot the fungal infection that affects the skin between the toes can easily spread to the toenails. Toenails are particularly susceptible to infection because they are often kept in warm, moist environments in which these microscopic organisms thrive.
wearing shoes that cause your feet to get hot and sweaty or humid environment
regular damage to the nail or skin
poor health or certain health conditions, such as diabetes or psoriasis
Increase risk factors of a fungal nail infection developing may also been seen are:
Fungal nail infections can be treated and usually cured, but some treatments can take several months to work.
Here at First Step Clinic our poditrist will look for the symptoms listed below to diagnose or rule out the condition.
If you have any of these symptoms, give us a call to schedule a consultation. While toenail fungus infections can be stubborn, they are treatable. Left untreated, however, the infection will only get worse over time.
Common symptoms of a nail fungal infection include:
- Discolored nails
- Thickened, dull (shine-free) or distorted nails
- Yellow streaked nails
- Buildup of debris under the nail
- Separation between the nail and skin
- Brittle, ragged nails
- White spots on the surface of the nail
As fungal nail infections vary antifungal medicines may also include antifungal tablets and nail paint in conjunction with your treatment, however our podiatrist we be more than happy to discuss an appropriate treatment and advice on your first consultation. We may also suggest one or more medications to treat your toenail fungal infection's, these can be purchased from your local chemist without perscription.
More than one procedure may be needed for a successful outcome. Our practitioners may gently drill down or cut the nails to help elleviate the infected nails.
While your nail will show signs of immediate improvement following the fungus nail treatment, it is important to continue with home care techniques to dissuade recurrence. Re-infection is possible as the fungus is located almost everywhere in the environment.