Common Foot and Ankle Problems & Treatments
Fungal Toenails

General Information

Toenails that are discolored, thickened, brittle, and (sometimes) malodorous may have fungus. A number of things can cause this type of appearance: fungus, yeast, psoriasis, eczema, trauma to the nail, and circulatory problems.

Who gets fungal nail infections?

Anyone can get a fungal nail infection, but are more common in adults. They are especially common in people that are immunocompromised such as people with diabetes or circulation problems.Why did I get a fungal nail infection?

It may be hard to know where or how you got a fungal nail infection - damp environments with heavy foot traffic are ideal for fungus. Other sources include wearing heavy work boots that make your feet warm and sweaty; walking barefoot often, outside or in locker rooms; or even from other family members sharing nail tools or towels.

Why did I get a fungal nail infection?

It may be hard to know where or how you got a fungal nail infection - damp environments with heavy foot traffic are ideal for fungus. Other sources include wearing shoes or boots that make your feet warm and sweaty; walking barefoot often, outside or in locker rooms; or even from other family members sharing nail tools or towels.

How do I find out if I have a fungal nail infection?

If you think you have a fungal infection in your  toenails, see your podiatrist at Foot and Ankle Specialists for a diagnosis. In order to diagnose, we will clip  pieces of the damaged nails and send it to our in-house pathology lab. Results will indicate if you have a fungal infection or another kind of infection.

With the correct identification of the fungus causing your problem, a full treatment plan will be established and then  you and your doctor will decide on the best course of treatment for you

Treatment

How is a fungal nail infection treated?

Treatment for fungal infections include medication, topical solutions, or, a newer option, laser treatment. Laser penetration can clear infected nails of fungal infections. This painless alternative is an excellent option for patients who do not want to take oral medication.

Your doctor can help you decide which treatment is best for you.

What can I do to take care of my nails?

Here are some things you can do to take care of your nails if you have a fungal infection:

  • Keep your nails cut short, and file down any thick areas.
  • Don't use the same nail trimmer or file on healthy nails and infected nails. If you have your nails professionally manicured, you should bring your own nail files and trimmers from home.
  • Wear 100% cotton socks. Change your socks when they are damp from sweat or if your feet get wet. Put on clean, dry socks every day. You can put over-the-counter antifungal foot powder inside your socks to help to keep your feet dry.
  • Wear shoes with good support and a wide toe area. Don't wear pointed shoes that press your toes together.
  • Avoid walking barefoot in public areas, such as locker rooms.