What are Fungal Nails?
Fungal nail infections are very common in the toenails and usually occur in adults. One or several nails can be affected on one or both feet.
What are the symptoms of Fungal Nails?
The affected nail often looks unpleasant but it does not always cause pain or other symptoms. The nail may appear thickened and discoloured and can sometimes be crumbly. The nail can turn white, black, yellow or green in colour. The nail can sometimes become crumbly, with pieces of nail breaking off, or even coming away from the toenail completely.
What are the causes of Fungal Nails?
Fungal nail infection in the toenail is most commonly caused by a fungal skin infection, such as athlete’s foot. Around 30% of people with athlete’s foot will also have a nail infection.
What should I do if I have a Fungal Nail?
Seeking an assessment with a Podiatrist is a good idea to discuss treatment options. For toenail infections, keep your feet cool and dry and wear shoes and socks that allow your feet to breathe. Wear clean cotton socks and avoid wearing trainers.
What shouldn’t I do if I have a Fungal Nail?
Wearing shoes that make your feet hot and sweaty should be avoided. Wear flip flops when at the swimming baths and avoid sharing towels, this helps to prevent cross – infection.
Could there be any long – term effects from a Fungal Nail?
The infection can spread to other nails which can make treating the infection more difficult. The nail may become very thickened and this may lead to pain when wearing shoes.
Podiatry treatment for fungal nails
The podiatrist may recommend that you seek you GP’s advice regarding treatment. The two main treatments for fungal nail infections are antifungal tablets and antifungal nail paints. Taking antifungal medication orally (by mouth) means that the treatment reaches your nail via your bloodstream. This can be a very effective way of treating fungal infections. But you may have to take the tablets for several months to ensure that the infection has completely gone. Stopping the medication too early can mean that the infection comes back. The tablets are prescribed by your GP.
Nail paint is not considered to be as effective as the tablets because it has to be painted on to the infected nail and work its way through to the infection, though you can purchase it yourself at the chemist. The two treatments combined together are thought to be the most effective treatment.
The podiatrist can keep the nail filed smooth to make it more comfortable and can give general advice to make the condition more comfortable.
Telephone: 01257 263173