When they are healthy, toenails appear to be clear, intact, and thin. However, when the toenails are infected with a fungus, this healthy and clean appearance can change very quickly. Nail fungus is notorious for causing “ugly” changes in the nail’s appearance. The most common of these is discoloration, which can come in many colors like white, yellow, brown, and even black. When the nail fungus is allowed to continue to grow for a long period of time, more extreme aesthetic problems can occur in the nail. In some extreme cases of nail fungus, the toenails can even start to look like they are disintegrating.

Disintegrating toenails occur because fungal growth under the nail feeds on the structures that maintain the nail’s integrity. When the fungus continues to grow, the nail itself can lose its form. This commonly changes the texture of the nail, making it brittle or cracked. When the fungus is extreme, the nail can start to look like it is being “eaten away” by the fungus, which lends it the appearance of disintegrating into thin air. While this can often be an alarming aesthetic change, it is important to understand that this change in the nail’s appearance is reversible. Once the fungal infection has been cured, a new healthy nail should start to grow in. This nail shouldn’t look like it is disintegrating. 

If your nail looks like it is disintegrating, this means that your fungal infection has progressed to an extreme state. While this isn’t a medical emergency, it does mean that you should seek treatment as soon as possible. The best treatment available for toenail fungus, especially in extreme cases, is the PinPointe laser. This laser is effective at treating the infection with just one treatment, is FDA approved, and has no side effects or downtime. To schedule a consultation with a podiatrist for the PinPointe laser treatment, give us a call at 1-(800) 672-0625 or visit our website for more information.