A fungal infection in one or more of your fingernails or toenails is diagnosed as Nail Fungus. Because nail fungus is a fungal infection, it will continue to spread deep into the nail and can infect surrounding nails of the toes or fingers. It is very important to see a doctor if you have nail fungus because it can cause a potentially painful infection that will be very difficult to treat if it grows.
Fungal infections in the nails can be very embarrassing and painful. Both men and women can experience nail fungus. It will typically start out as a small white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail. As it spreads deeper into the nail, it will cause the nail to discolor, thicken, have brittle edges, and will become painful. Many people cannot wear close-toed shoes when they have a toenail fungal infection because it hurts to badly. However, because of the unsightly infection, they may choose to hide it beneath socks or close-toed shoes despite the pain. While this may hide the toes from embarrassment, keeping the toenail warm and moist will only encourage the fungus to grow.
Nail fungus can be difficult to treat, and it is important for patients to know that repeat infections are common. Oral anti fungal medications have proven to be the most effective nail fungus treatments. It is important for people to understand that the entire treatment process of eliminating nail fungus can take up to four months. It is important to follow all instructions carefully and to not stop treatment early in order to fully eliminate the infection.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Jodi E. Ganz, Olansky Dermatology Associates