Fungal nails affect more people than you think.
We see fungal toenails, or onychomycosis, several times a day in our clinic. An infected toenail may be thick, crumble when trimmed, and appear white, yellow, brown, or greenish. Alternatively, some fungal infections leave a white, powdery substance on the nail plate.
"How did I get toenail fungus?"
Fungal nail infections are caused by the same fungus – usually Trichophyton rubrum – that causes tinea pedis, or athlete's foot. Many visitors to our clinic contract toenail fungus from a nail salon. In its early stages, such an infection is treated easily with topical nail paints.
Fungi breed in wet environments such as pools, and showers. People whose feet sweat often are also at risk of getting fungal infections of the nails and feet. If you experience recurrent nail and foot fungus, improved hygiene is a crucial part of your treatment.
How to treat fungal nail infections
Some fungal toenails are thick or grow unevenly, leading to pain, however many effective treatments are available, depending on your situation:
- Topical nail paints usually require daily application until the nail grows out. The fungi, in most cases, resides under the nail plate, therefore it can be difficult to reach in serious cases with topical paints.
- Clearanail drills almost-invisible holes in the nail plate to allow an antifungal agent to reach the fungus under the nail and kill it.
- Oral antifungal medication are prescribed by your GP once you have successfully produced a positive nail scrapping, confirming that you have a fungal nail infection. This medication is not suitable for everyone and should be discussed with your local doctor.
- Surgical removal of the affected toenail under a local anaestetic and then treating any fungus left behind. Before undertaking this procedure you should seek a second opinion from your local health practitioner.
Finally, it is important to prevent the spread of the infection to other toenails and other people. During your initial consultation, you will receive a treatment-and-prevention plan for a fungus-free future.
The longer you let your fungal nails go, the harder they are to treat. Imagine wearing sandals or going barefoot without embarrassment! Take action today and book in online or call (03) 9457 2336.