Nail Fungus

Fungal infection of the toenails is also known as onychomycosis. It is a common health problem that many of its sufferers do not know they have because the infection can be present for many years without causing any pain.

Onychomycosis is an infection of the plate and soft nail bed under the toenail, and is caused by dirt, debris, and different types of fungi.

Fungus attacks the nail and thrives on the nail's protein matter, keratin. Once this occurs, the nail will thicken, become discolored, foul smelling, and may even detach from the nail bed or deteriorate.

If ignored, the infection can spread to other toenails, the fingernails, and the skin. Its spread could also impair your ability to walk.

Proper foot hygiene and regular inspection of the feet and toes are the best ways to prevent this condition.

You should also:

  • Keep your bath or shower area clean
  • Wear shower shoes whenever possible, in public showering facilities
  • Wash your feet with soap and water every day
  • Dry your feet well, particularly between the toes
  • Always wear clean socks
  • Change shoes after two days to give them time to dry out
  • Use a foot powder daily
  • Properly disinfect pedicure tools and do not apply polish to any nails suspected of infection
  • Nails should be trimmed short and straight across
  • Visit your podiatrist annually

Treatment may vary depending on the nature of your infection. Your podiatrist may devise a treatment plan that includes one or all of the following:

  • Debridement (removal of diseased nail matter)
  • Prescription of an oral or topical medication
  • In severe cases, removal of the diseased nail

For more information on this subject, or to schedule an appointment with a footDrHorsley Podiatrist, please call (877) 372-6048

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms addressed, we strongly recommend that you seek the advice of your podiatrist for proper diagnosis.