A serious case of fungal nail can be quite painful; it might even cause lasting damage to your toenails. Be aware that if you are taking medication that suppresses your immune system, or you have diabetes – nail fungus can also spread to other areas of your body.
It’s tempting to reach for an over the counter (OTC) product, but remember that foot issues can be much more serious than they first appear! Salt Lake City podiatrist Dr. Elizabeth E. Auger, DPM, encourages you to always check in for a proper diagnosis. When you know what you’re really dealing with, extensive effects can be curtailed and the comfort of relief comes much faster.
What is Fungal Nail?
As we age, our toenails are more likely to get dry and brittle. Though fungi exists normally on the exterior and interior of our bodies (alongside bacteria) – when these nail cracks appear, the fungi gains access to spaces they are not meant to occupy. They settle in and overgrow, and infections occur.
Fungal nail may spread to several nails, but generally will not be contagious to other persons. When it also affects the skin between your toes, it is known as athletes foot (tinea pedis). Though fungal nail can also occur under your fingernails, it is a lot less prevalent.
Symptoms of Fungal Nail
Also known as onychomycosis (or tinea unguium), fungal nail commonly starts as a white or yellow spot underneath the tip of the nail. As the infection gets deeper, your nail will become discolored (typically yellow-brownish), thicken and become brittle or begin crumbling.
Our feet need to breathe, as do our toenails. Think about giving up toenail polish, and go with a nice clean pedicure and trim (straight across); be sure all pedicure implements are properly disinfected. Do not go barefoot in locker rooms and common spa areas; wash and moisturize your hands and feet routinely; discard old shoes.
When you’re in pain or discomfort, you shouldn’t have to wait for days to schedule an examination. As a holistic and compassionate physician, Dr. Auger offers same-day appointments and always welcomes new patients!