FUNGAL TOENAILS | ONYCHOMYCOSIS
Fungal toenails (onychomycosis) may appear different for each person. The pathology may include discolouration, the presence or absence of odour, and altered appearance of the nail. Onychomycosis is defined as a fungal infection affects the nail bed (the skin under the nail), or nail plate (the surface of the nail), causing it to become thickened and raised. Typically, patients will notice their nail becoming "crumbly". Fungal nails tend to affect more than one nail, and happen more prevalently in individuals with persistent moisture in/near their feet. Fungus thrives in warm, dark, wet places.
Fungal nail treatment requires regular reduction of nail, as well as an ongoing prescription of an antifungal medication. Since the nail plate can protect the fungus from being exposed to medication, treatment for fungal nails can be difficult. This is why regular reduction is important. In rare cases, the infection can be so severe it requires surgical removal of the nail. Early prevention is key to a quick recovery of a fungal nail. Do not hesitate to contact a Chiropodist/Foot Specialist.
Without treatment the nail can become discoloured, thick and very difficult to cut. In some cases, the affected area may become painful and further bacterial infection (onychia) may occur. With increased thickness, a pressure point under the nail may occur and the area may ulcerate. Additionally, fungus may spread to surrounding skin and other parts of the body.