Nail Fungal Infection
Fungal infection of the toenails (also called onychomycosis) occurs when a fungus infects the tissue underneath the toenail. The result is discoloration of the nail. Often the nail becomes thickened and raised. It commonly involves several nails simultaneously. It often occurs in people with persistent moisture in their feet, such as with footwear that does not allow air circulation or in those who perspire excessively in their feet.
The diagnosis of fungal infection of a toenail can be made based on the appearance of the toe. However, not every discoloured, chipped, or thick nail is fungal. In some cases a sample may be obtained, to look for fungus under a microscope or to grow and identify the fungus in a laboratory.
The treatment for fungal nail infections usually involves regular reduction of the fungal nail while treatment is ongoing and an antifungal antibiotic medication which your chiropodist will prescribe. A home treatment regimen is also important, as well as treatment of areas that come in contact with your feet that may harbour fungal spores such as shoes, socks, and carpets. In some cases, the infected nail is removed.
Kawartha Total Foot Care Centre offers a nail procedure called Pedilaq to help restore an attractive and more cosmetically normal appearance to fungal nails while treatment is ongoing. Click here to learn more.
The nails can become very thickened, discolored, and unsightly. In some cases , pain or infection can result from very thickened nails. The fungus can also spread to surrounding skin and other parts of the body such as fingernails.