Learn the signs of toenail fungus, what you can do about it, and if you should contact your doctor about treatment.
Toenail fungus is a common problem that can start with symptoms that may seem unimportant, like a slight yellowing of the nail. With time, however, untreated toenail fungus will continue to attack and destroy your toenail.
If you see any of these symptoms, contact your doctor. The sooner you begin treatment, the better your chances are of eliminating the infection.
It is helpful to understand the differences between toenail fungus and similar conditions, since they are often related and can impact one another.
But, even a minor injury can make your toenail more susceptible to toenail fungus. Because of this, you should contact your doctor even if you think it’s only a bruise.
Even if what you are seeing is psoriasis, you should talk to your doctor, since 30% of people with psoriasis have traces of a fungal infection in their nails.
Since most cases of toenail fungus are caused by the very same fungus that lead to athlete’s foot, early treatment can help prevent a new or recurring toenail fungus infection.
Additionally, some medications can cause the toenail to become brittle or separate from the toenail bed. A simple test from your doctor can tell you if it is toenail fungus or not.
The most common causes of toenail fungus are called dermatophytes (der-mat-o-phytes), which are infectious fungi that live in soil, animals, and humans. They thrive in wet environments and are also responsible for conditions like ringworm, athlete’s foot, and jock itch.
Because the toenail fungus is able to hide beneath the nail, it has a reputation for being difficult to treat. But, if you consult with your doctor early and stick to your treatment plan, you can keep your toenail fungus from becoming worse.
Certain conditions can make it easier for a fungal infection to take hold and spread more quickly. If you fit into any of these categories and think you already have toenail fungus, don’t wait to contact your doctor.
When it comes to toenail fungus, what starts as a minor infection can easily turn into multiple complications that become increasingly harder to control.
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