Some people may have certain discoloration on their nails that are not necessarily the result of a fungal infection. Due to this reason, it is necessary to differentiate common signs of toenail fungus as early as possible, because this infection is sometimes hard to eradicate, and only improves and clears up after long periods of time undergoing treatment.
The most common signs of toenail fungus include yellowish or brownish of the nail, but also simple discoloration, followed by thickening of the nail, dryness with accumulating layers along nail edges and under it, as well as breakage or brittle crumbling of the nail. A health care provider or a podiatrist can diagnose this condition quickly at a glance.
They can also help you to find the best treatment for your toenail fungus. Based on the damage that the fungi has caused to your nail, sometimes you might be in risk of losing your toenail if the condition is not treated in time, besides the risk of the infection spreading to other nails on your foot.
Signs of toenail fungus are usually more pronounced on the big toenail. In fact, most of feet fungal infections occur exclusively on the big toenail, also the “favorite victim” for nail loosening, being the first to fall off when the fungal infection enters into the advanced phase. Both podiatrists and dermatologist are fully qualified to prescribe a treatment if you feel uncomfortable visiting your doctor.
Because fungal toenail infections are relatively common, signs of toenail fungus are often confused with athlete’s foot, although these are 2 different conditions, although occurring with similar fungal patterns. After feet and nails are examined, a health care provider may trim away as much of the nail as possible to prevent spreading the infection, and preparing the nail for the treatment.
Having signs that suggest both toenail fungus and athlete’s foot may require a sample of toenail to diagnose it accurately after testing in a laboratory. Fungi are responsible for toenail fungus, so if you detect in time the signs of this infection, you can clear the fungal condition easily.
Fungi can live undetected for many months lying on a nail bed, just waiting for the opportunity to strike, so taking some preventative measures before it actually occurs, including proper inspection of toes, feet and shoes, decreases the chances of developing this or any other fungi infection.
Avoid walking barefoot in public facilities, particularly if they are places with moist conditions, such as showers, locker rooms, or pools, and always be aware of the signs of toenail fungus and contact your health care provider immediately.