Toenail fungus is a condition that affects the toenail. Toenail fungus begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your toenail and may cause the edges of your toenail or your entire toenail to discolor, thicken and crumble.
Your risk of having toenail fungus increases as you grow older. Toenail fungus may not be painful at its early stage, but it can get very painful when not treated.
Symptoms of Toenail Fungus
Symptoms of toenail fungus include:
- Whitish or yellow-brown toenail discoloration
- Brittle, crumbly toenail
- Thickened toenail
- Distorted toenail shape
- A dark color building up under your toenail
- Slightly foul smell under your toenail
Causes of Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungal is commonly caused by fungus infection. The fungus called dermatophyte is the most common cause of toenail fungus.
Yeast and molds are also causes of toenail infections.
As the nail ages, it becomes harder, dryer, and brittle. Cracks may occur which allow fungi to enter into the nail bed.
The risk factors of developing toenail fungus include:
- Reduced blood circulation to the feet
- Weakened immune system
- History of athlete’s foot
- Sweating heavily
- Walking barefoot in damp areas
- A nail injury or a skin condition, such as psoriasis
Treatment of Toenail Fungus
Treatment of nail fungus depends on the severity of your condition and the specific type of fungus causing it.
Topicals are not really effective but if you are going to use topical there are a few prescription topicals that are decent.
Oral medicines for nail fungus are usually pretty effective.
Laser is also an effective means to treat nail fungus.
Removal of the infected nail and performing one of the above or all of the above is also a good option. Come in to Graff Foot and Ankle and let’s figure out what is best for you!