WHAT IS TOENAIL FUNGUS?
Fungal infections affecting the feet are a common problem caused by an overgrowth of fungal organisms. These organisms include yeast, mold, and dermatophyte. They occur naturally in your body, but exposure can also happen in communal areas like pools and locker rooms.
When you have a fungal infection, it can be on your toes, on and under your toenails, and on the bottoms of your feet. A fungal infection on your toe can quickly spread to other toes, the nails, and the skin between your toes. When the skin on your toes is affected, it’s called athlete’s foot.
Toenail fungus can also spread to your nails from athlete’s foot infections on your skin. Men, women, and children can develop toenail fungus, but several factors increase your risks:
Feet that are moist or damp for long periods
Circulatory problems or conditions like diabetes
Injured skin or nails
The aging process also leads to changes in your fingernails. As they become dry and brittle, their susceptibility to fungal infections increases.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF TOENAIL FUNGUS?
The symptoms of toenail fungus can be hard to notice at first. Eventually, you might see signs of an infection on a part of the nail, several nails, or the surrounding skin, including:
Misshapen or ragged nails
Scaling or ridges under the nail
Yellow or white spots or streaks on the nail
Discoloration or thickening of the nails
An unpleasant odor in the area
If your infection develops into athlete’s foot, you might experience burning, itching, and stinging. These symptoms occur on the skin of your feet — on, between, and under the toes — and possibly the soles.
HOW IS TOENAIL FUNGUS TREATED?
Fungal infections can be challenging to treat, but Dr. Galoyan offers a variety of solutions, depending on the cause of your infection. These might include:
Topical medications: Antifungal polishes and creams applied to the nails or skin
Oral medications: Antifungal drugs to clear infections faster than topical treatments
Holistic approaches: Natural antifungals like white vinegar, menthol, and tea tree oil
To find the best treatment for your toenail fungus, call Metropolitan Podiatry for more information, or schedule an appointment online today.