Fungal Nails

Fungal Nail Infection

What is a fungal nail infection?

A fungal nail infection develops slowly and causes the nail to become thick, discoloured, brittle and distorted.  In the vast majority of cases, the infection causes no symptoms but can look unsightly and make cutting the nail difficult.  In some cases, due to the thickness of the nail, pain or discomfort is present on direct pressure of the nail.  Most fungal nail infections are caused by the same fungi that cause Athlete’s foot.  These fungi thrive in warm, dark, moist places like your shoes.

How are fungal nail infections treated?

You can help prevent a fungal nail infection by keeping your feet clean and dry, regularly changing your socks and shoes and avoiding walking around barefoot in communal areas.  Other preventative measures include not sharing nail clippers or towels, and using socks made from natural fibres.  Fungal nail infections are common in those who have certain medical conditions such as Rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes.

Treatment isn’t always necessary as it is unlikely to cause you further problems.  If you decide you would lie the problem treated then first speak to your Podiatrist or Pharmacist or GP as they can recommend the best treatment for you.  There are some over the counter treatments such as nail paints that are applied directly onto the nail.  Your GP may also consider an antifungal tablet if the condition is more serious.