Most fungal nail infections are caused by a group of troublesome fungi called ‘dermatophytes’ which live in the layer of dead skin around your nails, in the space under your nail, and in the nail itself. As our toenails can be conveniently hidden in shoes and socks, the early symptoms of nail fungus will often be ignored. Unfortunately it is a chronic condition that requires a specific treatment to target and kill the fungal infection. Do nothing and it will only spread from toe to toe and get worse. Once the infection gets into the base of the nail it is much more difficult to clear.
What to look for?
If you have one or more of the following unsightly symptoms, you may have a nail fungal infection that will need to be investigated:
Yellow streaks in the skin on the nail bed and on the underside of the nail
A build-up of pieces of skin and nail fragments under the nail
Discoloured and thickened nail that may start to separate from the skin
Nails are thickened as well as brittle and broken
White spots or streaks on the nail surface.
As the infection worsens the nail surface becomes soft and powdery
Damaged, crumbly, and brown or grey nail surface (with no separation of the nail from the underlying skin)