More than one-eighth of people in North America currently have fungal nails. At Brandywine Foot and Ankle Associates, with offices in Coatesville, Limerick, and Exton, Pennsylvania, the team of esteemed podiatric medicine professionals understands what causes fungal nails — and they can help you clear them using proven medical techniques. Call the office in your area or book an appointment online today.
A fungal nail is an infection that starts underneath a toenail. Nail fungus usually affects the big toe but can appear in any other nails, as well.
The fungi that cause fungal nails thrive in damp and humid environments, including public swimming pools, locker rooms, and even the inside of your shoes.
Fungal nails are more common as you age, primarily due to nail weakening over the years. Weak nails can have small cracks that allow fungi to enter the body. Wearing damp socks or tight shoes can also lead to nail fungus, as can an injury like stubbing your toe.
People with diabetes or other diseases that affect the immune system are also prone to fungal nails.
Nail fungus changes the appearance of your toenail, including:
Nail fungus usually appears as a small white or yellow area at the end of the affected nail. As time goes on, the discoloration can spread to take over more of the nail. The fungal nail could also darken into a brownish color.
Fungal nails can thicken significantly, sometimes even growing challenging to trim.
Nail fungus may distort nail shapes, such as ridges or waviness.
In many cases, fungal nails grow very weak and crumble or fall off in pieces.
The ends of a fungal nail can look very uneven and ragged.
Along with all the symptoms above, a fungal nail can sometimes emit a noxious odor. Fungal nails aren't uncomfortable in most cases; however, many people find them very embarrassing.
Fungal nail treatment starts with a diagnosis. The Brandywine Foot and Ankle Associates team examines your nail closely, and they may remove a small nail sample for a fungal culture test. This test can identify the particular fungi to better direct treatment of stubborn infections.
There is a wide range of treatments for toenail fungus, with options including:
Regardless of the treatment they recommend, the team's top goal is complete nail fungus removal so that you need not worry about the irritating issue any longer.
Call the Brandywine Foot and Ankle Associates office nearest you for rapid fungal nail treatment with lasting results or book an appointment online today.