Fungal Nails

One of the most common conditions seen in our practice is that of fungal toenail infections. This infection causes thickened and unsightly nails which may become painful. The fungi responsible for the infection are organisms similar to mould and mildew. These grow best in conditions that are warm and moist. Bacteria may thrive as a secondary infection too which makes symptoms worse as well as making the infection more difficult to treat. In fact, a fungal infection is one of the most difficult nail and foot conditions to treat.
Onychomycosis is the medical term for the common nail disorder described above. This problem caused by a variety of fungi types can lead to considerable nail damage. As the fungus grows, it continues to spread until the entire toenail becomes thick and yellow with crumbling edges. As fungus develops in dark and damp surroundings, people that wear tight and closed shoes as well as multiple coats of nail polish are more prone to toenail fungus. Once the infection has formed the fungus survives by eating away at the toenail protein called keratin. Approximately a half of all nail conditions are as a result of the effect of fungus. This makes onychomycosis the most common of all nail disorders. It can affect both fingernails and toenails but toenails tend to be the most likely targets. There are a number of treatments available for fungal toenails including a variety of topical treatments as well as systemic antifungal drugs. Some laser systems are used for treatment with very limited success. More recently treatments involving drilling tiny holes in the nail plate to allow topical antifungals better acces to the infection are showing promising results.
If you suspect you might be suffering from a fungal infection please do make an appointment at Free your Feet Podiatry. The podiatrist will be able to diagnose the condition, reduce the nail plate to make it more responsive to treatment and discuss an ongoing treatment plan with you. We look forward to welcoming you into the practice!

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