Fungi that feed on keratin, a structural protein within your nails, frequently cause the condition. Fungal colonies grow rapidly in moist environments and invade the nail bed by penetrating the margins of the nail. Fungal nail disease may result in pain, impair the ability to walk and can contribute to negative self-esteem.
You may have a fungal nail infection if you have one or more of these symptoms:
- Yellow streaks under the nail
- Distorted or thickened nails
- Brittle, crumbly or ragged nails
- Discoloured nails
- Nails separated from the underlying nail bed
- Build-up of debris (nail fragments, skin) under the nail
- White spots or streaks on the nail surface
Treatment of a fungal nail infection can take a while to complete, and is best begun at the early stages of infection, before it has spread deeper into the nail. See your Podiatrist right away if you see any change in your nail or feel swelling or pain.
Fungal infections used to be difficult to treat, but new therapies can often permanently heal your nails. Your Podiatrist will choose the best treatment for you based on the type of infection and the amount of the nail involved. Treatment can range from 3 to 18 months to completely clear up the fungal infection.
It’s very important to follow your Podiatrist’s recommendations.