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Types of Toenail Fungus

Tuesday, 06 February 2024 00:00

Toenail fungus, medically termed onychomycosis or tinea unguium, is a common fungal infection that affects approximately 14 percent of people, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While typically not a serious health concern, toenail fungus can cause cosmetic issues as well as discomfort. There are various types of toenail fungus, each with distinct characteristics in symptoms and appearance. The most prevalent form is subungual onychomycosis, characterized by nail lifting, discoloration, and crumbling of the toenail. White superficial onychomycosis causes white, flaky patches on the nail surface, potentially progressing to rough and crumbly nails. Candida onychomycosis, caused by yeast, is more common in individuals with conditions like diabetes or compromised immune systems. This type of toenail fungus shows symptoms such as rough nails, surface breakdown, and soft tissue infection. An accurate diagnosis by a podiatrist is essential to determine the type of toenail fungus you may have incurred. With proper care and timely intervention, toenail fungus can be effectively managed. If you suspect you have a toenail fungus, it is suggested that you schedule an appointment with a podiatrist for an exam and treatment options appropriate to the cause.

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact Genine Befumo, DPM of University Foot and Ankle Center, L.L.C. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.

Symptoms

  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail

Treatment

If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.

Prevention

In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Monroe Township, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

 

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