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Nail Fungus Symptoms

Infected nails are usually thicker than normal and could be warped or oddly shaped.

They can break easily. Nails with fungus might look yellow.

Sometimes a white dot shows up on the nail and then gets bigger.

When fungus builds up under your nail, it can loosen and even separate the nail from the bed.

The fungus can also spread to the skin around your nail.

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Who Gets Toenail Fungus?

Men are more likely to get it than women. The older you are, the better your chances are, too.

You’re more likely to develop a fungal nail infection if you:

  • have diabetes
  • have a disease that causes poor circulation
  • are over age 65
  • have athlete's foot
  • wear artificial nails
  • swim in a public swimming pool
  • have a nail injury
  • have a skin injury around the nail
  • have moist fingers or toes for an extended time
  • have a weakened immune system
  • wear closed-toe shoes, such as tennis shoes or boots


What Does It Look Like?

A fungal infection of the nail may affect part of the nail, the entire nail, or several nails.

nail fungus


Visible Signs

Visible signs of a fungal nail infection include:

  • scaling under the nail, which is called subungual hyperkeratosis
  • white or yellow streaks on the nail, which is called lateral onychomycosis
  • a crumbling corner or tip of the nail, which is called distal onychomycosis
  • flaking white areas on the nail’s surface, which may include pits in the nail
  • the appearance of yellow spots at the bottom of the nail, which is called proximal onychomycosis
  • loss of the nail


Common Signs

Common signs of a fungal nail infection include:

  • a distorted nail that may lift off from the nail bed
  • an odor coming from the infected nail
  • a brittle or thickened nail


Get a Diagnosis

Since toenail fungus can look like other conditions, including psoriasis, you'll want to have your toenail checked by a doctor.

You may need to see a specialist who cares for feet (a podiatrist) or skin (a dermatologist).

They might scrape off some of the affected part and send it to a lab to figure out what's causing the problem.



There are different ways to treat nail fungus depends on which fungus you have and how bad the infection is. Your doctor may try one thing or a combination:

  • A topical cream that goes directly on the nail
  • An antifungal prescription pill
  • Removing the damaged area of the nail or skin

In some cases, you might need to have the nail removed completely with surgery.

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Tips to Prevent Fungal Nail Infections

Making a few simple lifestyle changes can help prevent a fungal infection of the nails.

Taking good care of your nails by keeping them well trimmed and clean is a good way to prevent infections.

You should also avoid injuring the skin around your nails.

If you’re going to have damp or wet hands for an extended amount of time, you may want to wear rubber gloves.


Other ways to prevent fungal infections of the nails include:

  • using antifungal sprays or powders regularly
  • washing your hands after touching infected nails
  • drying your feet well after showering, especially between your toes
  • getting manicures or pedicures from trustworthy salons
  • using your own items for manicures or pedicures
  • wearing socks that minimize moisture, Change them regularly
  • avoiding being barefoot in public places
  • reducing your use of artificial nails and nail polish
  • Wear shower shoes in wet public places like locker rooms and swimming pools.


Know Your Toes

Take a good look at your nail beds and the skin around your toenails regularly, at least once a month. (You might need to use a mirror if it's hard to see your toes.)

Watch for changes in color and texture, as well as for cuts or damage. Does anything hurt? If your symptoms don’t improve or get worse, call your doctor.