Info on Nail Fungus

toe fungus

While nail fungus can occur on both your fingers and toenails, it’s more likely to be spotted on your toenails. It starts as a white or yellow spot under the nail and can lead to nail damage or even an infection if it is left untreated. Here are some facts in regards to nail fungus.

  1. While it usually stems from dermatophyte fungus, it can also come from yeast and mold on the nail. The fungi, yeast or mold thrives if cuts are on your skin if you have a small separation of your nail bed, and in warm environments (pools, showers/tubs, shoes).
  2. Anyone can develop toenail fungus; however, there are certain factors that increase your chances of it developing. These are:
    • Older age (blood flow is reduced and nail growth slows down)
    • Being a male, especially those with a family history of nail fungus
    • Humid or moist work environments, especially if your hands or feet are often wet throughout the day
    • Heavy perspiration
    • Socks and shoes with poor ventilation and poor perspiration absorption
    • Coming in contact with someone who has nail fungus
    • Athlete’s foot
    • Skin or nail injury, as well as skin conditions
    • Diabetes, circulatory issues, weak immune system
  3. Nail fungus is often self-diagnosed, as there are ways to tell its presence. Your nail or nails may become:
    • Thick
    • White or discolored (some may have speckles of white on the nail bed or none at all)
    • Brittle, crumbly, or ragged
    • Distorted and/or dull
    • Dark in color (this means debris has built up underneath the nail)
    • Separated from the nail bed
  4. The first signs of an infection that are spotted are usually white and yellow patches or streaks underneath or on the sides of the nail. You may also notice a change in your nail’s texture. Be sure to remove any fingernail and toenail polish after one week so you can check your nails for fungus symptoms.
  5. If you experience pain, you’ve got an infection on your hands (or toes!). If this is the case, pain is felt on the nail or around it.
  6. You may also detect an odor. When tissues are dying and are building up underneath the nail, this can cause an odor. Nail separation can be smelly also. The odor is recognizable, as it resembles the scent or something dead or decaying.

If you suspect you have toenail fungus, come schedule an appointment with us so we can examine your nails and determine which treatment option is best for you.