Is a fungal nail dangerous?
Fungal infections of the toenails are an unpleasant, common problem but are usually painless. Some skin conditions and medical problems manifest themselves by changing the appearance of your toenail to look like fungal infections. It is important to obtain a correct assessment and diagnosis. A scraping of the toenail can be taken by your doctor to identify the fungus.
How can I treat a fungal nail?
It is always best to seek treatment and advice early on. Once a fungal infection has been identified there are a variety of options available:
- Foot Mechanics now offers the effective Pinpointe Foot Laser treatment to kill the infection under the nail.
- Toenail paints: Your podiatrist can thin down thickened toenails and make them easier to treat yourself at home with nail paints. Fungal nail paints are available from the Foot Mechanics. Treatment can take a long time and has limited success. It takes a lot of perseverance.
- Anti-fungal creams: Creams that contain anti-fungal agents can be used to treat fungus around the nails. This is usually a more effective treatment in the early stage when the fungus first starts to affect the toenails.
- Oral medication: These are prescribed by a Medical Doctor. They are generally very effective. Once the course of treatment has been completed, the toenail may take several months to improve in appearance as it takes approximately 12 months for a toenail to grow completely from base to tip. During the period when the nail is re-growing, the use of an anti-fungal cream is advised to prevent further infection.
What will happen if I don’t treat it?
The fungus can lead to thickened, discolored toenails and will slowly spread to other toenails. It also can act as a source of skin fungal infections like Athlete’s Foot.
It may also deform the shape of the nail and lead to an ingrown toenail.
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