Patient – Onychomycosis

Summary

Fungal nail infection becomes more common as we get older. It appears as a white or yellow/brown discolouration of the nails. Lots of people get changes to their toenails however only about half are because of Fungal Infection.

How did I get this?

Nail fungus can be picked up almost anywhere, however it is more common in warm moist environments. The fungus can enter through the skin folds around your nail, through a split or damaged nail, or under the end of the toenail. People who are run down, or suffering from other health problems may be more susceptible.

Care should be taken when visiting nail spas to ensure equipment is clean prior to use.

What can I do about it?

Various treatments are available from the pharmacy. Most require an application of antifungal nail paint as often as twice a day, and some also include files or other means of helping the paint to penetrate.

Using nail varnish to hide the problem will also seal the infection in the nail and tends to make it worse.

What help can I get for this?

Your doctor may prescribe antifungal medication. Oral treatments may not be suitable for people with other health problems.

A Podiatrist will help by carefully removing any infected nail tissue and advising on treatment options. This might include Photodynamic Therapy or Laser treatment, and should also address disinfection of your footwear and hosiery.

When will it get better?

Treating Fungal Nail Infection can take many months, perhaps up to a year. Any treatment will require the nail to re-grow until it is clear of infection.

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