Tag Archives: nail infection

Onychomycosis – Fungal Nail Infection

Summary

Fungal nail infection becomes more common as we get older. It appears as a white or yellow/brown discolouration of the nails. Lots of people get changes to their toenails however only about half are because of Fungal Infection.

How did I get this?

Nail fungus can be picked up almost anywhere, however it is more common in warm moist environments. The fungus can enter through the skin folds around your nail, through a split or damaged nail, or under the end of the toenail. People who are run down, or suffering from other health problems may be more susceptible.

Care should be taken when visiting nail spas to ensure equipment is clean prior to use.

What can I do about it?

Various treatments are available from the pharmacy. Most require an application of antifungal nail paint as often as twice a day, and some also include files or other means of helping the paint to penetrate.

Using nail varnish to hide the problem will also seal the infection in the nail and tends to make it worse.

What help can I get for this?

Your doctor may prescribe antifungal medication. Oral treatments may not be suitable for people with other health problems.

A Podiatrist will help by carefully removing any infected nail tissue and advising on treatment options. This might include Photodynamic Therapy or Laser treatment, and should also address disinfection of your footwear and hosiery.

When will it get better?

Treating Fungal Nail Infection can take many months, perhaps up to a year. Any treatment will require the nail to re-grow until it is clear of infection.

Ingrowing toenail

Summary

  • Ingrowing toenails occur when the hard nail plate causes a wound in the soft flesh around the nail.
  • They can be very painful and become infected.
  • There may be an overgrowth of tissue around the nail due to irritation of the wound.

How did I get this?

  • Direct trauma from tight footwear or stubbing your toe
  • Long term pressure from a thickened or curved toenail
  • Poor nail cutting leaving a sharp corner on the nail
  • Swollen toes and sweaty feet can weaken the skin around the nail.

What can I do about it?

  • Avoid footwear which presses on the toe.
  • Bathe the foot in salt water and apply an antiseptic dressing.
  • Trim the toenail as short as possible but do not cut into the painful side

What help can I get for this?

  • A podiatrist can remove the part of the nail that is causing the problem. This may be done under local anaesthetic if necessary.
  • A Podiatrist can advise on appropriate footwear and how to avoid further problems.
  • A doctor may prescribe antibiotics if the toe is infected, however the nail will still need treatment to prevent further infection
  • A Podiatrist can permanently remove the problem piece of nail and prevent regrowth. This procedure is performed under local anaesthetic and is a lasting solution

When will it get better?

  • Without treatment the nail will continue to grow and penetrate the wound.
  • Removal of the piece of nail provides immediate relief.
  • Careful nail care and the right shoes can prevent recurring problems

Ingrown toenail