Nail fungus: Symptom and causes | How we can help, Foot Clinic Strood - Paul Miller Podiatry
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Nail fungus: Symptom and causes | How we can help, Foot Clinic Strood

fungal nail infection

Nail fungus: Symptom and causes | How we can help, Foot Clinic Strood

Nail fungus is an infection caused by a group of fungi called dermatophytes. A dermatophyte can infect the skin and hair on various parts of the body. The most common locations are the feet (also known as athlete’s foot), hands, fingers, and toes. If you are suffering from what you think is a nail fungal infection then you should get in touch with Paul Miller Podiatry. We can help with treating nail fungus and give you advice on how to prevent it in the future.

Signs and Symptoms

Nail fungus is a fungal infection that can affect your toenails or fingernails. The most common symptom of nail fungus is an abnormal change in the nail’s colour, shape and thickness. The affected part of the nail may become thickened, discoloured and develop small white spots on it, which may resemble scars.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms on your nails, consult your doctor immediately.

The most common signs of nail fungus are:

– Soft, crumbling or flaking nails

– Separation between the nail and nailbed (subungual)

– Pain, redness and inflammation around the infected area

fungal nail infection

Causes

Fungal infection: this can be caused by any of the following: -Wearing shoes that don’t allow your feet to breathe. -Having a weakened immune system. -Being diabetic. -Athlete’s foot (also known as tinea pedis) is an infection of the skin on your feet caused by fungi and is very contagious.

Poor hygiene: Sharing shoes with another person can also cause a fungal infection. -Having sweaty feet or wearing shoes that are not well-ventilated can lead to athlete’s foot

Injured nails: If you have a cut or scratch on your nail, be sure to wash it as soon as possible with soap and water.

Foot diseases (e.g., athlete’s foot): are caused by fungi and are highly contagious. If you have a weakened immune system or diabetes, you’re more susceptible to this type of infection.

Diagnosis

  • Diagnosis is usually made by a podiatrist (a doctor who specializes in feet and ankles) like Paul Miller Podaitry! After you have had a skin scraping done. The doctor can use a microscope to look at the sample under magnification, which will show the presence of fungal spores. The podiatrist might also take a sample of your nail fungus and send it to a lab for testing.
  • If you think you might have athlete’s foot or another type of fungus infection, ask your healthcare provider if he or she can examine your feet with their eyes and hands as well as using diagnostic tools such as microscopes and cultures from your nail beds. This is important because some people who are infected with one kind of fungi may be carrying another kind without showing any symptoms yet!

Treatment

A common treatment is a topical antifungal cream. This should be applied daily for six weeks to all affected nails and the skin around them.

Fungal nail infection treatment

Sometimes oral antifungal medications are recommended. These should be taken for four to eight weeks. In severe cases, your healthcare provider may prescribe an injection of an antifungal drug into the infected nail bed.

If your infection is severe and covers a lot of skin, you may be prescribed oral antifungal medication. This can be taken for up to three months. It’s important to take all of your doses as prescribed by your doctor, even if the symptoms seem to clear up sooner.

Other treatment

You can also soak your feet in a solution of vinegar and water for ten minutes, three times per day. This will help to soften the skin on your feet so that it’s easier for the antifungal cream to penetrate. You may also need oral medications if the infection is severe or spreads beyond just your toenails.

Prevention

In order to prevent nail fungus, there are a few things you can do. First, wear flip-flops in public places. This will keep your feet dry and clean. Also, consider using medicated foot powder daily if you are prone to foot fungus due to sweat or excessive moisture. Make sure you wear shoes that fit properly and avoid walking barefoot in public places (if possible). You should wear clean socks every day and change them often (every two days). You can use antifungal powder or spray on your feet after showering or bathing to further prevent infection.

Understanding the symptoms and causes will help you diagnose your situation.

Nail fungus is caused by a yeast called Candida. This fungus can be passed from person to person and from surface to person. It can also be spread in public swimming pools, showers, and gyms.

Factors that increase your risk of getting nail fungus include:

-Age: Those younger than 40 are more likely to get nail fungus than those over age 65.

-Gender: Men are twice as likely to develop a fungal infection in the nails. This may be because men tend to have more public contact, such as using showers and locker rooms.

Symptoms of nail fungus include:

  • White or yellowish spots on the nails (nail plate)
  • Thickening and brittleness of the nail plate
  • Darker than normal discolouration of the nail plate

Conclusion

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see a podiatrist as soon as possible. They will be able to diagnose the nail fungus and determine if treatment is warranted. If left untreated, toe infections can lead to serious complications like blood poisoning or even death! For more information look on the NHS website for Athlete’s Foot here, or Fungal nail infection. If you are looking for a reliable experienced and trusted professional Podiatrist in Strood or Sidcup then get in touch. 

Paul Miller chiropodist Strood