Fungal Nail

Also known as onycomycosis is when fungal spores enter the nail and pass through the nails layers. This condition can start with a small area of discolouration (white, brown or yellow) to one nail and can continue till the whole nail or nails become thickened, discoloured and crumbly.

Generally the nail is not usually painful unless it becomes very thick and thus leads to excessive pressure from your shoes. Some nails will also have a musty smell to them especially when they are cut or filed.

How to treat a fungal nail

When you first notice a small area of fungus on the nail the most effective treatment would be an antifungal paint, which can be purchased over the counter or on prescription from your doctor. If more nails have become infected or the condition has caused the nails to become thickened and uncomfortable an antifungal tablet may be a better course of treatment and your doctor will be able to prescribe this for you if he feels it is appropriate.

Often your doctor will take a small clipping of your infected nail to be analysed to provide a positive diagnosis of fungus. I however find the results may come back negative when a fungus is very evident, this happens for a number of reasons and you may need to visit a podiatrist for some advice on what else you can do.