Onychomycosis is the medical term for toenail fungus. This is when fungus gets under the nail and causes an infection. This will cause the nail to change color, thickness and emit a bad smell. If it is left untreated it can spread to the other toes and the fingers if not careful.
Your feet are vulnerable to fungi and bacteria due to their location on the body. This is more accurate especially if you walk barefoot in damp areas such as, showers, locker rooms and swimming pool, allowing your feet to come in direct contact with the pathogens. You are at a higher risk if there is an injury to the nail bed as it allows easy access to the pathogen to enter. Other possible risk factors include diabetes, peripheral problems, chronic illnesses and immune deficiency.
It is important to schedule an appointment with your podiatrist as soon as possible if there is any signs of fungal infection on your nails to prevent it from spreading or getting worse.
Your podiatrist will make a diagnosis by sending a sample to the lab or by visual observation.
Topical antifungal medication or cream can be used if the fungal infection is not severe after filling and cutting the nails.
Cold laser therapy has been proven to be one of the most successful treatments available. The podiatrist would cut and file the nails and then advice how many laser treatments would be recommended depending on the severity of the infection.
Another option would be seeing your GP and taking Oral anti-fungal medication.
At-Home Solutions for Toenail Fungus
There are a few things you can do at home to help treat your toenail fungus. A strict cleaning regime can relieve mild infections. Patients have found success in filing off the white marks and then applying over-the-counter anti-fungal agents. These do not stop infections from coming back, which is why we encourage patients to seek treatment from a medical professional.