5 Signs You May Have Nail Fungus

Even though many people suffer from nail fungus, some studies suggesting 14% of people residing in Canada and the United States, people may be unsure of what the condition looks like or what affects it can have on your body. Below we have listed five common signs of onychomycosis (scientific name for nail fungus) so you can catch it early and begin getting the medical help you need .

Thickened Nail: Although this can be mistaken for nail trauma thick nails can indicate the presence of an infection. To differentiate this from a toenail or fingernail that has simply become thickened, dry and hard toenails are usually not afflicted with fungus. Thickened toenails are said to not be a recommended way of indicating the presence of toenail fungus due to possible misconceptions but spongy and thick nails can be a common sign.

Brittle or Splintering Nail: Onychorrhexis which is the medical term for brittle nails can be caused by toenail fungus. Though this is another sign that could be falsely attributed to a variety of other disorders, nail fungus is said to be a widespread culprit. Onychomycosis can weaken the toenail which may cause it to be brittle and break apart. If your nails appear to be crumbling or if a giant split randomly appears in the middle of your toenail, it may indicate fungus.

Warping: Onychomycosis is also known to distort the shape of infected toenails. This is less common but more noticeable due to the effect that it has. This only looks worse when coupled with other symptoms such as thickening or splintering into small fragments.

Loosened Toenail: In addition to carrying dead skin and nail fragments beneath your toenail the nail itself has been said to actually loosen or lift up. The formal name for this is “onycholysis.” Doctors commonly scrape beneath the toenail and test the built up debris for the type of fungus could be causing the issue. If ignored at such an advanced stage complications could arise such as bleeding, extreme pain or even permanent damage to the root of your toenail. If bleeding occurs or the skin on your nail bed is broken the fungal infection could even spread to the inside of your body.

Discoloration: This can be any number of changes depending on which variation of onychomycosis you may have but the most common visual changes are a lack of sheen on the top of your toenail or white or yellow streaks along the side of the nail. These streaks and speckles can appear anywhere from the underside of the toenail to its entire surface. Though it can spread to smaller nails, the biggest toenail can be most commonly susceptible to fungal outbreaks.

Please note that we have only listed the symptoms of various types of toenail fungus based on what research we have done. Only a doctor can diagnose someone with onychomycosis, and this is in no way a substitute for medical advice. As stated earlier, someone can display a symptom associated with onychomycosis but suffer from a completely different condition.