How to Identify Nail Fungus

Picture of toe nail fungus
Picture of toe nail fungus (Image:

Fungal infections of the nails (fingernails or toenails) occurs when a fungus infects one or more of the nails. These infections usually develop on nails continually exposed to warm, moist environments, such as sweaty shoes or shower floors. this article will describe how to identify if you have a fungal infection affecting your nails.

Things You'll Need

  • Doctor's Appointment
  • Prescription for Nail Fungus Treatment

Look at your nails. A fungal infection in the nails may begin as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail. When this infection spreads, it grows deeper into your nail. At his point it may cause your nail to discolor, thicken and develop crumbling edges. This can be an unsightly and potentially painful problem. Nails may also be distorted in shape,dull, with no luster or shine, and dark in color due to debris building up under the nail. Infected nails may also separate from the nail bed. . You may even detect a slightly foul odor.

Call and make an appointment with your medical doctor or a podiatrist. At the appointment, be sure to discuss your symptoms and findings with the doctor. The doctor will most likely examine your nails. To confirm the diagnosis of nail fungus, your doctor may scrape some debris from under your nail for analysis. The debris will be examined under a microscope or cultured in a lab to identify what's causing the infection. Knowing the cause of the infection helps determine the best course of treatment.

Start your course of treatment for your fungal nail infection as prescribed by your doctor. Nail fungus can be difficult to treat, and repeated infections are common. Medications for nail fungus help a new nail grow free of infection, slowly replacing the infected portion of your nail. These medications are taken for six to 12 weeks. You won't see the end result of treatment until the nail grows back completely. It may take four months or longer to eliminate an infection.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep your nails dry and free of extended periods of heat to prevent further infections.
  • Antifungal drugs can cause skin rashes or damage to the liver. Let your doctor know if you have liver problems, congestive heart faliure, or if you are taking other medications.

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