What is Nail Fungus?

Nail fungus, often more prevalent in toenails, can impact one or several nails. This condition thrives in warm, moist conditions. Various factors elevate the risk of nail fungus, such as injuries to nails, consistently wet socks, overly tight footwear, not maintaining nail hygiene, and a history of athlete's foot.

Identifying Symptoms of Nail Fungus

Typically, the infected nails become thick, brittle, and lose their natural lustre. You might experience discomfort in your toes or fingers during everyday activities.

Diagnostic Approach

For accurate diagnosis, a skin specialist may collect nail debris samples for laboratory analysis, including culture and microscopic examination.

Treatment Strategies for Nail Fungus

Due to the slow growth of nails, treatment can be prolonged and complex, with a possibility of recurring infections. Treatment options include:

  • Medications: Oral antifungal treatments, along with antifungal nail varnishes, might be recommended.
  • Surgery: In severe, stubborn cases, surgical removal of the nail may be necessary.

Prevention Tips for Nail Fungus

  • Maintain cleanliness of hands and feet, ensuring they are dry post-wash.
  • Regularly trim and file nails without removing the surrounding skin.
  • Opt for well-fitted, breathable shoes and moisture-wicking cotton socks. Change socks if they become damp.
  • Avoid barefoot walking in public areas like pools.
  • Individuals with diabetes should monitor their blood sugar levels diligently.