Signs of Toenail Fungus
Onychomycosis or toenail fungus is a toenail infection that is caused by a group of dermatophytes. This infection may also affect the fingernails, however toenails are more prone to get infected because fungus thrives more in a damp and dark environment. This is a contagious condition and may transmit from one toe to another and even to other body parts. Some people are more likely to suffer from toenail fungus. Read on to learn more about the signs of toenail fungus.
Signs of Toenail Fungus:
Infections to toenails are dangerous because severe infections cause great discomfort and pain. Toenail fungus develops on the nail bed and feeds upon keratin which makes up the outer most surface of nails. Some of the causes include contact with an individual affected with dermatophytes, abnormal pH of skin, prolonged usage of tight-fitting shoes and poor hygiene of nails. Let us know more about the symptoms of toenail fungus.
Usually toenail fungus begins at the far end of toenails, that later grows deep into the nail if ignored. Generally, the little and big toe are more susceptible to this condition compared to other toenails.
- First, you will notice discoloration of your nails. In the starting phases of infection, you may see yellow or white patches under your nails. As the infection grows, the color of the infected toenail changes to brown, dull yellow or black in some cases.
- White superficial toenail fungus is another type of infection. This is a rare condition. In this condition, the nail color changes to white rather than brown or yellow and the nails surface become soft, powdery and dry.
- There is a change in the infected toenails texture and the growth is hampered too. The infected nails become brittle, thicker and chalky. Sometimes, toenails become so thick that it is very difficult to cut them. You may notice shedding of parts of your toenails and also crumbling around the edges. In extreme cases, you may notice full nail loss also.
- Under the infected toenails, you may find keratinous debris which looks like dirt. This collection of debris leads to the swelling of the nails. You can clean it by taking proper treatment. A foul smell from the infected nails is another noticeable symptom of toenail fungus.
The signs of toenail fungus may interrupt the daily activities of a person. You may feel difficulty in walking and also in wearing shoes. Toenail fungus is a very rare condition among children and often seen in elderly people. A qualified podiatrist or a physician can diagnose this condition.