If your nails become yellow and brittle, you might have a fungal nail infection. Usually, the big toe is affected first. When it gets worse, it becomes more difficult to treat. Treatment takes months so it will require time and patience.
The affected toenail may detach from the nail bed. Other symptoms include discoloration: white, yellow, or brown. The nail can also become thicker or change in shape. In some cases. The toe can hurt or have a foul smell.
The fungus usually develops on the edges of the nail, rarely on the base. The fungus develops more often on the toenails than the fingernails. People with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to nail fungus.
Nail fungus infections sometimes forms white patches on the surface of the nail. They may be dots, but may spread out and cover the entire nail.
It is usually caused by fungi that infect the skin, called dermatophytes. Yeast and mold may also cause infections on the nail. Yeast (candida) infections usually develop on the fingernails.
People with nail fungus usually also has athlete’s foot. Both these conditions are caused by the same kind of fungi. Athlete’s foot may cause fungal nail infections and vice versa.
- Proper foot hygiene – dry feet completely after showering
- Wear proper footwear – not too tight
- Don’t wear the same pair shoes all the time
- Try to go barefoot or wear open toed shoes from time to time to let the feet breathe
- Wear flip flops in gym lockers, public pool ares, etc.
- Don’t share towels, shoes or socks.
Nail fungus may be treated topically with nail polish or creams. These products contain substances that can kill the fungus and prevent it from growing. Topical treatments may be cheap and convenient, but are usually not very effective. Oral medications are usually prescribed to treat nail fungus. They are to be taken for at least 3 months. These oral pills may have side effects such as stomach problems, skin rashes, and liver damage.
There is also laser treatment for nail fungus that has no side effects. It treats the infection by killing the fungus using heat damage. The treatment is not painful and does not have any side effects. It typically requires on treatment and archives a very high success rate.
If you have toenail fungus, contact us to schedule a free consultation with one of our doctors. We have over 80 clinics nationwide, including Arlington, VA.