What is it?
Nail fungus is also called onychomycosis. Nail fungus is a common condition that begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail. As the fungal infection goes deeper, nail fungus may cause your nail to discolor, thicken and crumble at the edge. It can affect several nails.
What are the symptoms?
Onychomycosis may not cause any obvious symptoms at first.
As it progresses, the infection can cause:
- discolouration of the nail it may turn white, black, yellow or green
- thickening and distortion of the nail it may become an unusual shape or texture and be difficult to trim
- pain or discomfort particularly when using or placing pressure on the affected toe or finger
- brittle or crumbly nails pieces may break off and come away completely
Sometimes the skin nearby may also become infected and be itchy and cracked or red and swollen.
- Try over-the-counter antifungal nail creams and ointments. Several products are available. If you notice white markings on the surfaces of the nails, file them off, soak your nails in water, dry them, and apply the medicated cream or lotion.
- Trim and thin the nails. This helps reduce pain by reducing pressure on the nails. Also, if you do this before applying an antifungal, the drug can reach deeper layers of the nail.
Things to watch out for
Mild fungal nail infection can be treated using antifungal tablets or antifungal nail paints. GP can be contacted to get a prescription.