What Are the Signs of Fungal Toenails?
Early detection of fungal toenails is key to quicker and easier treatment. Unfortunately, early signs of an infection don’t tend to be as dramatic as later results.
The early signs of an infection can look like small white spots or streaks on the nail, but so can just having a small bump or scrape there. If you see a white blemish on your nails and it doesn’t improve after a few days (or actually grows bigger or changes shape!), it’s time to give us a call. You might have detected an early infection!
Otherwise, later stages of infections have quite obvious symptoms, such as:
- Discoloration of the nail (usually ranging from white to brownish-yellow)
- A brittle or crumbly texture
- Distorted or ragged nail shape
- A potential slightly unfavorable odor
In some cases, the nail might start to rise away from the nail bed, causing pain. This is relatively uncommon, though.
Treatment for Fungal Toenails
If you are seeking to eradicate your fungal infection and get back to clearer nails, start now!
There are several different treatments for fungal nails, including topical and oral medications. These can take several months for full effectiveness. Even then, once a fungus is gone, the damage it left behind will remain until new nail tissue is able to grow in.
In other words, don’t go expecting a miracle if you start fungal nail treatment a month before that big event you want to show off for!
To prevent ingrown toenails, it is best to avoid trimming your toenails too short. Trim your toenails straight across instead of curving at the edges. Trying to cut out the ingrown edges can make the condition worse over time. If this is the first time you are experiencing an ingrown toenail, you may also try to soak your feet in lukewarm water with epsom salts. If you do not notice improvement in your symptoms within a couple of days, see your local podiatrist for further management before the condition becomes worse. In general, home treatment does little to fix the problem and can make the problem worse.
When To See Your Podiatrist
You should see your podiatrist if you continue to experience pain and redness or if your symptoms worsen. Your podiatrist will perform a minor procedure to remove the offending nail border and improve your pain. The procedure will likely be performed with local anesthesia to make you comfortable. They may also prescribe an antibiotic to treat the infection if needed. Most people experience minimal pain after the procedure and can resume normal activity the next day.
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