Toenail fungus or its medical name of onychomycosis is caused by a fungus from a group called dermatophytes. Though it can also affect the fingernails, toenails are more commonly affected because the feet provide the ideal environment, trapped in shoes all day in the dark where it gets warm and damp. You can catch the fungus from public areas like pools, using another person’s shoes or towel that have it, and you can also get it from an injury to the nail, incorrect cutting or you may be more susceptible to fungus than others. But before you can start the slow process of treating toenail fungus you need to know first if that is what you have. So here is information on identifying toenail fungus symptoms.
The key toenail fungus symptoms you are going to see are a change in color, brittleness and flaking, thickening of the nail, a change in shape and pain or discomfort. Here is a look at the toenail fungus symptoms in more detail;
This is often the first sign of a toenail fungus infection. At the beginning of the infection there may be small patches, spots or streaks on the nail that look white or yellow. However, as the infection worsens the over all color can change to yellow, brown or even black and the shine of the nail dulls.
Nails can become more brittle and there can be crumbling or flaking of the nail. The edges can become jagged and clipping doesn’t help. If it gets to a very severe problem it can lead to the nail crumbling or breaking off.
The nail gets thicker and harder to cut. If you are having this problem there are toenail clippers designed like scissors that tend to work better.
Because the fungus causes the nail to lift slightly keratinous debris can collect under the nail and can make the nail swell. A nasty smell can come from the debris and it only cleans out permanently when the infection is cleared up.
The nail can become distorted, lumpy, growing crooked and trimming doesn’t correct it.
The nail can become sensitive to pressure and wearing shoes is uncomfortable. If a lot of pressure is applied or you injure the toe more pain than usual occurs.Diagnosis using toenail fungus symptoms.
When you visit the doctor he or she will listen to your symptoms as well as examining the toes affected. They may take a scraping to be sent to a lab to identify which fungus is the cause of the infection. It is important to deal with the condition as it can lead to nail loss and permanent damage to the nail bed. Treatment will take some dedication and patience though whichever option you decide on.
Dr. Soumya Podduturi is an Aesthetic Dermatologist, Dermatologist, Dermatosurgeon, Trichologist, Pediatric Dermatologist, Cosmetologist with 8 Years Experience