It starts as a white, seemingly-benign spot on your toenail. Before you know it, the small white spot has gotten much worse and is starting to spread to the remaining toenails on both feet. The now yellowed, hardened nails are beginning to take on a noticeable odor and you’re embarrassed to wear sandals at the beach or pool. Left untreated, your toenails are exhibiting late stage nails fungus symptoms, and you probably wished you’d acted quickly when that first small spot was noticed. It’s more difficult, but still possible to treat severely infected toenails.
Your feet have more sweat glands per square foot than any other area of the body, making them an ideal breeding ground for the fungi, which generally belongs to the group dermatophytes. Think back to how much time your feet spend in shoes and socks. This closed, air-starved environment is the ideal situation for fungal infections to occur and spread. The infectious fungi also thrive in other moist environments, including locker room floors and swimming pools. Something as simple as a small cut or a tiny separation between your nail and the nail bed is enough to start the infection’s spreads.
There are also several risk factors associated with nail fungal infections:
The early nail fungus symptoms include:
It’s crucial that when these earliest nail fungus symptoms occur you visit your doctor or a podiatrist immediately. Your treatment options are more effective and you can stop the spread of the infection to your remaining toenails with greater success.
As the nail fungus symptoms worsen and continue to be left untreated, you’ll begin to notice the following moderate symptoms:
The extreme stages of nail fungus symptoms are extremely difficult to treat and including some of the following symptoms:
As stated above, it’s crucial to seek medical attention at the onset of nail fungus symptoms. Before you see the doctor, note any symptoms you’ve noticed and write down a list of potential questions and any medications or vitamins you’re currently taking. While at the office, the doctor or podiatrist will visually examine the nails and procure a sample of infected tissue from beneath the nail itself. The sample is then cultured or microscopically examined for the infection’s underlying cause, which isn’t always fungal. Many times psoriasis or other bacterial infections are the cause of the symptoms and require a different treatment protocol.
Treatments for nail fungal infections vary depending on the severity of symptoms and include: