Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, is an infection above or beneath the surface of the nail caused by fungi. It can affect one or several toenails and can be spread to other toenails and also to the fingernails.
- The toenails are particularly vulnerable around damp areas where you are likely to be walking barefoot, such as swimming pools and showers etc.
- Using unhygienic nail instruments; This may occur at nail salons when instruments are not sterilized correctly and the infection is spread from one customer to the next. This can also happen when family members share nail scissors and files.
- Injury to the nail bed may make it more susceptible to all types of infection, including fungal infection.
- Those with diabetes, circulatory problems, or immune-deficiency conditions are prone to fungal nail infections
Signs and Symptoms
- Fungal toenail infections can often occur without causing any pain.
- The toenail will often become discoloured (yellowish/brownish).
- The nail may begin to come away from the nailbed, which will result in white or yellow patches.
- The nail may become soft and crumbly.
- Fungal skin infections may spread from the skin to the nails if left untreated
Diagnosis and Treatment
It is important that you visit a podiatrist or skin specialist to confirm the diagnosis of a fungal infection before you start treatment for it, as there are many conditions that have a similar appearance.
Ned Buckley Podiatry offers a variety of treatment options for fungal nails ranging from very conservative through to oral medications and our new laser treatment.
Fungal nail infections typically take many months to completely resolve with treatment as it takes a long time for the nail to grow out.
Options for treatment will depend on the patient’s individual circumstances surrounding the condition before recommending a course of action. Treatment plans need to be tailored to suit both the presenting condition as well as the overall health and lifestyle of the patient.