What Is Toenail Fungus?
Onychomycosis also called tinea unguium is a common fungal infection that affects either the fingernails or toenails or commonly called toenail fungus.
It is normal for a fungus to be present in our body, but if it overgrows, it can become a problem. When you say fungal infections of the nail it can be difficult to treat. If a fingernail becomes wet for hours because of a job or hobby then it is also susceptible. Toes are often warm and damp that is why fungus grows well there which can make your toenail change color or get thicker and it can spread to one or more of your nails. So it’s no surprise that a lot of people would consider covering up their feet and turning a blind eye to the problem. If you don’t treat it, the tendency is that you will have an organism living in your nail that could spread.
Symptoms of Toenail Fungus
- A white, brown, or yellow discoloration of one or more of your toenails is the most noticeable symptom.
- Your big toenail which is most likely to become infected will become brittle or changing color.
- Nails break easily becoming soft or becoming thicker and changing shape.
- Forming on the surface of the nail white patches either in large blotches or small dots that are spread out
- Pain around the nails
- The nail detaching from the skin or nail bed
Causes of Toenail Fungus
When you don’t have enough good bacteria living within your gut, you wind up developing high levels of yeast and fungus (bad bacteria) in your body that can show up on your skin just like with other health conditions that stem from gut-related problems. Though essentially it’s an imbalance of bad bacteria to good bacteria in your body.
Other risk factors besides poor gut health that can tip the scale in terms of an infection forming include:
- Wearing dirty or tight shoes
- Coming into contact with fungi in nail salons, gyms, saunas, and contaminated swimming pools.
- Having an athlete’s foot
- Damaged nail beds
- Skin conditions, such as psoriasis
- A weakened immune system
- Genetic predisposition
For everyone who has nail fungus, early diagnosis and treatment are recommended. If you caught early and treated the same time a fungal nail infection is likely to clear and you’ll regrow a healthy nail. Treating toenail fungus depends on which fungus you have and how bad the infection is. In some cases, you might need to have the nail removed completely with surgery but some doctors may try one thing or a combination:
- An antifungal prescription pill
- A topical cream that goes directly on the nail
- A topical nail lacquer
- A laser treatment that removes the damaged area of the nail or skin
Fungi can be difficult to kill. You can apply for medicine directly to the infected area for skin and nail infections. At the first sign of a nail problem, it’s important to see a dermatologist because a dermatologist can tell you whether you have a nail infection or something else.