Toenail fungus is a fungal infection of the nails, otherwise known as onychomycosis. It is a condition that affects up to 20% of adults ages 60 and older. This fungal infection is more common on the toenails than the fingernails. While there are some home remedies that can help you get rid of your toenail fungus, it is best to see a board certified dermatologist to ensure you are treating it correctly and preventing reoccurrence.
Nail fungus likes to grow in dark, moist places, which makes sense that your shoes create an ideal environment for toenail fungus. It typically begins as a white or yellow spot on the tip of the nail. This can be difficult to detect for women who always keep their toenails polished. As it progresses, nail fungus will cause the nail to thicken and even get brittle or “crumbly” on the edges. Your nail may change shape and color if you have a fungal infection. If it develops to the point that the nail actually starts separating from the nail bed (the skin underneath), it can be quite painful. Nail fungus will continue to progress without treatment, and even with treatment, your nail fungus may return.
If you notice that one or more of your toenails (or fingernails) is showing signs of change, it is best to get a proper diagnosis sooner rather than later. There are times when nail fungus is misdiagnosed and other cases when toenail fungus is allowed to progress to the point of a widespread infection or loss of the nail. If you consistently wear toenail polish, make it a priority to remove your polish periodically to check the health of your toenails.
At Olansky Dermatology Associates, we understand how to treat fungal infections within your skin and nails. Our practice offers the most proven treatments for nail fungus in a comfortable, modern office environment. We will also educate you on ways to prevent nail fungus in the future.