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Fungal Nail Infections

Fungal Nail Infections

A fungal nail infection can affect one or more toenails and is usually caused by a fungal skin infection, such as athlete’s foot. Its medical name is Onychomycosis or Tinea Unguium.

Infection may not cause any obvious symptoms at first. As it progresses, it can alter the appearance of nails, making them difficult to care for and uncomfortable or painful.

Fungal nail infection symptoms include:

  • Discolouration – turning white, yellow, black, or brown
  • Thickening & distortion – nails become an unusual shape or texture
  • Brittle & crumbly – pieces break off or come away completely
  • Odour – a musty smell can occur

The skin nearby can also become infected and be itchy and cracked or red and swollen.

Although fungal nail infections do not pose a serious health risk, they can be unpleasant, painful and a source of embarrassment.

Fungal skin condition - Farnham Foot Clinic Surrey
Treats severe fungal nail infections quickly and effectively.

What Causes Fungal Nail Infection

Athlete’s foot is a common complaint that is caused by a fungus that lives in the keratin that makes up the outer layer of the skin. Fungal nail infection occurs when this spreads to the keratin of the nailplate.

Though less common, fungal nail infection can also be due to yeasts such as Candida, or other molds not associated with athlete’s foot.

Since fungi prefer warm, dark, and moist places, feet and toenails are more frequently affected than hands and fingernails.

Preventing Fungal Nail Infection

You can reduce your risk of developing an infection by:

  • Keeping your hands & feet clean & dry
  • Clipping your nails to keep them short
  • Ensuring your towels are washed regularly
  • Replacing old footwear that could be contaminated with fungi
  • Don’t share towels, socks, or nail clippers
  • Avoid being barefoot in public spaces such as pools & showers
  • Treating athlete’s foot as soon as possible to avoid infection spreading to nails

Treating Fungal Nail Infections

Fungal nail infection has traditionally been difficult to treat. Options such as antifungal tablets can have side effects, whilst topical treatments can take a long time with disappointing results.

Our Fungal Nail Laser treatment at Farnham Foot Clinic now offers a safe, faster, effective option.

The therapy works by using light pulses that penetrate the nail, raising the temperature of micro-organisms and reaching deeper fungi without damaging the surrounding tissue.

The Fungal Laser treatment is painless. There is no downtime, and it is suitable for men and women and diabetics.