The first symptom of a toenail fungus infection is discoloration of the nail. The symptoms of a nail infection will vary depending on the type and severity of the infection.
Nail fungus infections, also known as onychomyscosis, account for about half of all nail disorders. They can be difficult to treat and repeated infections are common. The infections are particularly prominently in nails that have been continuously exposed to warm, moist environments like sweaty shoes or shower floors.
Toenail fungus infections usually begin with a white spot under the tip of the nail. As the fungus spreads deeper into the nail, the following symptoms may occur:
o Thickened nails
o Brittle, crumbly or ragged nails
o Nails that are distorted in shape
o Nails that are flat and dull
o Yellow, green or black nails
o Pain in and around the nail bed
The nail may develop white, yellow or brown patches. In some cases the nail may become brittle and appear chipped. There may also be flakey, scaly skin surrounding the infected nail.
A toenail infection that has an incompetent odor may be in advanced stages and you should see a doctor immediately. If the infection is severe, you will have significant pain and will find it difficult to walk.
Thickening of the nails is another symptom of toenail fungus infection. If your nails thicken, you may find it difficult to wear shoes. Sometimes thickening leads to an ingrown toenail which can be painful and limit mobility.
If the symptoms are left untreated, fungal infections of the nail can cause permanent damage to the nail, leaving it ragged and distorted. The fungus can spread to the skin surrounding your nail causing paronychia, a surface infection of the skin around the nail.
Paronychia can cause painful lesions, redness, swelling and pus-filled blisters. You can avoid the pain and embarrassment of paronychia by treating your nail fungus infection symptoms in their early stages.
The type of treatment plan you choose will depend on the severity of your symptoms and your personal preferences. Some people prefer to try home remedies before consulting a physician for prescription medications. Many of the prescription medications that are available to treat nail fungus infections have unseen side effects. The most commonly prescribed oral medications are Sporonax, Diflucan and Lamisil.
It is important monitor your nail fungus infections symptoms to make sure they do not worsen. For effective treatment, you should address nail fungus infection symptoms when they first appear.