Nail Fungus Q&A
What is nail fungus?
Nail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is a common problem. A fungal infection can easily spread from your foot to one or more of your nails. You can also get a fungal nail infection from walking barefoot in warm, damp places like public pools and gym locker rooms.
Depending on the type of fungus that’s infecting your nails, you may notice discoloration, nail thickening or thinning, or crumbling. Some nails may lift away from the nail bed, allowing debris to collect beneath.
People who have diabetes or compromised immune systems are at higher risk for complications of nail fungus so professional treatment is especially important.
How do I know if I have nail fungus?
You may have nail fungus if you notice any of the following changes to your nails:
- A spot at the tip of your nail that turns white, yellow, brown, or another color
- Thinning nails that you can scrape the surface off of
- Thickened nails that turn yellow or brown
- A nail that lifts up so it’s not firmly attached to the finger or toe
- Debris build-up beneath the nail
- A nail that splits or crumbles
Nail fungus usually affects toenails but can get it in your fingernails, too. If you have any symptoms of nail fungus, call the team at A to Z Dermatology for prompt treatment.
What causes nail fungus?
Nail fungus is due to a fungal infection that gets beneath your nail. Various types of fungi cause nail fungus, including the fungus that leads to athlete’s foot. These fungi thrive in hot, humid environments, like the inside of a sweaty shoe.
People who spend a lot of time in the water or whose hands and feet are wet for most of the day are at increased risk for fungal nail infections.
How is nail fungus treated?
The team at A to Z Dermatology may take a small nail clipping or skin sample from your nail and examine it under a microscope to determine the cause of your nail fungus. Then, they discuss the best approach to treatment.
Depending on your condition, nail fungus treatment may include medicine you apply to your nail, medicine you take orally, or a combination of both. If the infection is severe, or if other treatments don’t work, they may recommend removing the nail.
For professional nail fungus treatment, call A to Z Dermatology today, or request an appointment online.