Nail fungus (onychomycosis)

    • Brief

    • Nail fungus or onychomycosis, appears initially as a white or yellow spot under your nails, leading to discolouration and damage to the nails. You may have some pain and there is a risk of the infection spreading to the surrounding skin and, in extreme cases, into the bloodstream if left untreated.

      Nail fungus commonly affects toenails more than fingernails. It may take a long time to treat but it usually fairly harmless.

    • What are the symptoms?

    • If you have nail fungus, you may have:

      • Discoloured nails that are whitish or yellowish.
      • Thickened nails.
      • Brittle nails that break easily.
      • Nails with a bad smell.
      • Pain and swelling if the nail removes from the nail bed.
    • What are the causes?

    • A nail fungus infection usually occurs when fungus (that lives on the skin) enters the nail through a small cut or break in the nail.

    • What are the things that put you at risk?

    • Some things that put you at risk include:

      • Walking with your bare feet in damp areas.
      • Wearing footwear that makes your feet sweaty.
      • Having a weakened immune system.
      • Having injuries or cracks in your skin.
    • When to visit a doctor?

    • If your nail fungus spreads to other nails or does not resolve within a reasonable time, you should see your healthcare provider.

    • How to prevent?

    • To prevent nail fungus:

      • Do not walk barefoot.
      • Make sure your feet and hands are always clean and dry.
      • Do not wear the same socks for more than a day before washing.
      • Regularly wear other pairs of shoes.
      • Trim your nails regularly.
    • How to manage and treat?

    • Self-care tips:

      • Applying over-the-counter anti-fungal creams.
      • Always keep your feet and hands clean and dry.
      • Wear clean socks and comfortable shoes that don’t make your feet sweaty.
      • Don’t share your nail cutters or scissors with others.
      • Always trim your nails.

      Treatment options:

      Your doctor may prescribe antifungal tablets, medicated nail polish or nail cream, or removal of the nail.

    • Kulawa cares

    • Living with nail fungus can be uncomfortable and painful if it is severe. You may be embarrassed about your nails when they appear discoloured.

      Self-care is often all that is required to manage your symptoms and prevent complications.