What is nail fungus?
Nail fungus or onychomycosis is a common nail condition caused by a fungal infection. It results in a fungal toenail that is often yellow or white, thickened, flaky or brittle. It is caused by a fungus either penetrating through the nail plate itself or infecting the skin underneath the nail plate (nail bed).
Signs & Symptoms
- White or yellow nail discolouration
- Thickening of the toenail with discolouration
- Brittle toenail
- Crumbling or flaking of the nail plate
- Nail that lifts off from the nail bed
- Odour coming from the infected nail
Causes for nail fungus
Nail fungus is caused by a fungal infection that enters the nail complex, either by penetrating through the nail plate itself or infecting the skin underneath the nail plate (nail bed).
Fungi thrive in warm, moist environments so sweaty feet and poor foot hygiene are factors that can make you more prone to tinea and fungal toenail infection.
Trauma is often a common overlooked factor involved in fungal toenail infections as it can cause lifting of the nail plate from the bed, allowing easy entry for fungal spores.
Nail fungus diagnosis
Nail fungus or onychomycosis is usually easily diagnosed clinically by our podiatrists, who are experts in identifying nail conditions of the foot without the need for further tests. If our podiatrists are unsure of the presence of nail fungus then they may elect to take a nail sample and sent it to pathology to confirm diagnosis.
Treatment for nail fungus
Our podiatrists are experts in assessing and diagnosing nail fungus. They can advise on the best treatments available and treatment protocols.
The keys to preventing nail fungus are good foot hygiene and footwear that is made from a breathable material to help prevent nail trauma and damage.
N.B. There are many nail conditions that resemble nail fungus and therefore can be misdiagnosed. It is important to receive an accurate diagnosis. Give us a call today and book in with one of our podiatrists.