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Toenail Fungus: An Unwelcome Surprise

Published on May 25, 2017

Toenail fungus is a common condition. Some fail to notice the infection, as it sometimes is not visible on the outside of the nail. This means that you might live with a toenail fungal infection for years even without realizing it. In some cases, it can just disappear on its own. However, in other cases, the infection can get severe and spread to other areas.

What Is a Toenail Fungal Infection?

As the name indicates, this is a type of infection that occurs in the toenails due to a fungus. It can occur on the nail or on the skin beneath. Whenever there are cuts near the nails, there is a risk of toenail fungus attack. The big toe is the most common spot where it can form, and it can form in the other toenails as well.

Depending on the way your body retaliates, if your immune system is strong, you will not be affected by the infection. If you notice that your nail changes color suddenly, becoming paler or yellowish, or if you find it suddenly becoming thick or breaking, chances are there is an underlying fungal infection.

Causes of Toenail Infection

• Any injury in the toenail can cause a fungal growth in the nail or the skin and thus lead to infections, as the injured area tends to be more sensitive.

• Body ailments like diabetes, weakness in the immune system, and athlete’s foot can all cause toenail fungal infection.

• Toenail fungus occurs in men more commonly than in women. Age is another factor that affects the occurrence. People who are 60 years old or older are more likely to get toenail infection than those who are younger.

• People who spend a major part of their day in the water, such as divers, are more prone to get the infection.

• Smokers are at higher risk of the infection.

• It is more likely to occur in those who have a family history of toenail fungal infections.

Facts to Keep in Mind About Toenail Fungal Infections

• A toenail fungal infection is a contagious condition, so be careful around those who have toenail fungal infection, and remember to take preventive measures when you have the infection yourself. It is always advisable to avoid sharing footwear and socks with anyone to avoid the risk – remember, infections might sometimes exists but stay under the skin without showing visible signs.

• Wearing closed footwear ensures that you don’t spread the infection when you have an infected toenail.

• In rare cases, if the infection is not treated early, it can spread to the skin around the infected toe, so get the right treatment at an early stage.

Visiting a Skilled Dermatologic Surgeon

If you are able to see visible symptoms of a toenail fungal infection, arrange an appointment with a skilled dermatologic surgeon to ensure that the infection doesn’t get serious. If you suspect an infection but do not see visible signs, it’s best to still schedule a consultation.

Experienced and respected dermatologic surgeon Dr. David Kriegel will be happy to help with treatment of a toenail fungal infection during a consultation. Contact our office today to get started.