What is it?
A fungal toenail infection, also called onychomycosis (ON-i-ko-my-KO-sis), is caused by a highly contagious fungus that enters the tip or side of the toenail and continues to grow under the toenail.
Do I have it?
With fungal nail, your nails appear thick, brittle and discolored (may be brown, white, or opaque). The nail's shape may be distorted. The nail may be detached (loose), and there may be debris under the nail.
Fungal nail infections can only be treated by prescription medication. However, prescription medication may not be effective at reversing the discoloration or thickening of the nail. Over-the-counter products can help improve the appearance of the nail.
What causes it?
Fungus thrives in warm, moist areas. Wearing closed footwear, having prolonged moist skin or having athlete's foot and minor nail injuries increases the chance of developing nail fungus.
Fungus can also be caused by pedicures that are too rough or are done in salons that do not keep their nail clippers, nail files or other tools sanitized.
How can I help prevent it?
- If you get athlete’s foot make sure to treat it right away with a product that cures athlete’s foot
- Wash your feet daily with soap and water and make sure to dry them completely
- Change your socks daily
- Let your feet “air out” as much as possible
- Wear shoes that are roomy for your toes
- Never share socks, shoes or pedicure tools with anyone
- While it is important to trim your toenails, don’t trim them too short
Not medical advice, see a doctor if problems persist.
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