If you notice a sudden growth or discoloration present in your nails, you may want to have it examined by a doctor right away. Anything else out of the ordinary – such as itching, redness or growth under and around the nails – may signify an onslaught of nail fungus infection. Identifying nail fungus symptoms is the first place to start to make sure that your condition gets treated right away.
What are fungal nail infections?
Nail fungus infection, which is also called tinea unguium or onychomycosis, is one of the most common nail afflictions. There are many causes, including various pathogens such as fungi, bacteria and molds. The condition affects both your fingernails and/or toenails, although it is more prevalent in the latter.
While it is not life threatening, it can cause situations where one would have difficulty performing daily tasks due to the nail fungus infection, such as difficulty in walking due to fungus-infected toenails. Nail fungus infection takes time to heal, and treatment periods can last for months. That said, it is important that the condition is diagnosed as soon as possible to ensure fast and proper treatment.
Fungal Nail Infection Symptoms
- Thickening of the nails. One of the most common nail fungal infection symptoms is the thickening of the nail. Generally, your nail will look and feel thicker and rougher. It may not be the whole nail at all – some people experience thickening of some parts only.
- Nail Weakness. Another symptom is the weakness of the nail. You may notice that your nails will start to become weak and brittle. Some pieces may start to come off easily and break away from the finger or toe. Over time, the nail will become very weak and will eventually crumble.
- Discoloration. Nail discoloration is also a very common nail fungus infection symptom. You may start to notice patches of while, yellow, brown or black.
- Inflammation and Other Skin Problems. When left untreated, nail fungus may cause inflammation of the nail bed and the skin surrounding the nail. This may manifest in the form of a rash and may be very itchy. It may sometimes be accompanied by a foul smell.
Nail fungus can occur in anybody, but it is important to constantly check on for symptoms if you suffer from conditions like diabetes, connective tissue disorders or vascular diseases. It is also important to pay close attention if you have experienced nail fungus infection before.
What To Do In Case Of These Symptoms
If you notice any of these symptoms, it is important that you speak to your doctor right away. While over the counter medication for nail fungus infections are available, you should be diagnosed with the condition first to ensure that you receive the right treatment.
Remember that nail fungal infection can be very uncomfortable. It can also cause you to lose your nail, which may be painful and highly embarrassing. Ask your doctor about the possible treatments which you can try such as over-the-counter tablets and nail lacquers to help you achieve infection-free nails!