About Fungal Nail
Fungal Nail, or Onychomycosis, is surprisingly common. It is caused by an invasion of fungal species (Tinea Unguium) beneath the nail. This condition develops over time. A Fungal Nail Infection causes visual changes to the nail. It changes colour, becomes thickened, sometimes brittle and may produce a distinct odour.
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Treatment and Prevention
To treat the infection, an anti-fungal may be required. These can be oral anti-fungal treatments prescribed by your GP. However, there are not suitable for everyone, as liver damage has been reported with these medications.
Alternatively, our clinicians at We Fix Feet will be able to reduce the thickened nail, removing any mycotic (fungal infected) nail painlessly and quickly in-clinic. Application of a topical solution that has anti-fungal properties will normally be recommended, which should be used on a daily basis for a period of time until the healthy nail has regrown. A full nail can take up to 12 months to grow out.
It is possible to reduce the risk of contracting a fungal infection by avoiding humid or damp conditions in your shoes. In communal showers or swimming pools areas, wear flip-flops. Keeping your feet clean and dry will also help, along with wearing shoes made from natural materials and cotton socks that allow the feet to breathe. The occasional use of medicated foot powders in your shoes or hosiery will help keep fungal spores to a minimum.
Always wash hosiery and towels used on feet at high temperatures to help kill fungal spores. If there are signs of Athlete’s Foot infection, this will increase the risk of Fungal Nail infection. Clear up fungal skin infections as a priority and visit your nearest We Fix Feet clinic.
What Causes Fungal Nails?
Fungi called Dermatophytes live harmlessly on the skin, but can often multiply and lead to infection in dark, warm and moist environments such as the feet.
The infection occurs when the fungus makes its way between the toenail and the skin and feeds off the skin or the keratin of the nail. Damaged, split or lifting nails are often prone to Fungal Nail Infection.
Runners, hikers, rock climbers and anyone wearing footwear that can damage the nails are particularly at risk.