Fungal nail infections are also known as onychomycosis. This is usually a painless condition which is caused by fungus infecting your toenail.
A fungal nail infection is the most common cause of discoloured nails. A nail with a fungal infection can look unattractive because the nail often becomes thickened and can turn white, black, yellow or green. If you have a fungal nail infection you may notice your nail becoming brittle, with pieces of nail breaking off or even coming away from the toe completely.
What causes fungal nail infections?
You can find the fungus that causes nail infections on floors, towels and in clothing. It’s spread from person to person by contact with these objects and is highly contagious. If you have a damaged or broken nail, you are particularly at risk as the fungus can enter your nail or nail bed more easily.
The fungus can spread to your skin and cause itching, peeling or burning, especially between the toes. This is called athlete’s foot.
How should I treat my fungal nail infection?
Fungal nail infections rarely resolve unaided. You need to take care to treat your fungal nail infection otherwise it may spread to your other toenails, finger nails and skin.
Many of the treatments available are in the form of a nail lacquer or paint that you apply to the surface of your nail. Sometimes your nail bed becomes infected and if this is the case then your GP may wish to prescribe a course of oral antifungal tablets.
Another treatment available for fungal nail infections is ‘The Lacuna Method’ for more information read here
Fungal nail infections need to grow out of the nail and this can take 9-12 months. You should continue apply any nail surface treatment you are using until all traces of the fungal nail infection have grown out.
How can a foot health practitioner help?
- A foot health practitioner will be quick to recognise the signs of a fungal nail infection so you can start treatment in the early stages. I may advise you visit your GP who could send a nail sample away to be evaluated.
- I can reduce the thickened and distorted nails and cut them down to a manageable length.
- I then smooth any roughened nail edges to prevent any further nail damage.
- I conduct a thorough check for signs of the fungus spreading to other areas. This is particularly helpful to those of us who have difficulty seeing our feet.
- I use this information to discuss treatment options with you and choose the one that is most suitable
Call or email me to discuss your foot health concerns or to make an appointment.
Tel. 01253 891326 or 07939151744
If I don’t answer the phone I may be with a client so please leave a message and I’ll come back to you.