Although unappealing and embarrassing, fungal infections in the foot skin and toe nails are common. The correct term for the fungi in toe nails is Onychomycosis, and it is often hard to eliminate by common cleansing means. On the other hand, fungal infections on the foot skin are coined as Tinea or Athlete’s Foot. Most of the time, fungal infection on the skin leads to infection on the nails, and vice versa.
A nail infected with a fungus can manifest itself with discoloration – it may turn yellow, white, or black. Occasionally, the nail rises and separates from the nail bed of the toe. Infected nails may also thicken and become deformed. It may eventually develop into ingrown toenails which are very painful.
Most people turn to conventional over-the-counter ointments that are often expensive, yet ineffective. It is a fact that, without a podiatrist to remove the infected nail, recovery for such condition is uncommon or rare.
Moreover, it is also crucial for people with diabetes to have their toenails and foot skin checked. A patient with diabetes is at a high risk of getting fungal infections, and he or she should seek immediate intervention at the first sign of infection.
Signs of fungal infection on the nail includes:
- Discolouration (yellow, white, or black)
- Distorted or deformed shape
- Crumbly looking, and raised or separated from the nail bed
Symptoms of Tinea or Athlete’s Foot include:
- Reddish skin and sometimes, blisters are also seen
- Flakiness or itchiness
- Occasional burning, pain or cracks in between toes
The podiatrist in Hunter Podiatry Services can clinically diagnose a toenail and skin fungal infection. Once we have performed an assessment, we may sometimes require a toenail clipping. The clipping is then tested at the pathology department to determine the causative agent responsible for the infection. GPs often refer their patients to our clinic to have a toenail clipping sent off for testing. We can obtain the best nail sample as we have appropriate and sterile instruments for the job. We perform this procedure on a daily basis.