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  • Writer's pictureLRPodiatry

How do I know if I have a fungal infection?

Approximately 1 in 10 people can develop a fungal infection of the nails (this is termed

onychomycosis) it may affect one, many or all nails and is more commonly found in toenails rather than fingernails.

Fungal nail infections can present in many ways, there may be white patches on the surface of then ail, discoloured areas at the far edge and side of the nails and there may be thickening, discolouration and detachment of some or all of the nail.

Other conditions can also present in a similar manner, self-diagnosing through google searches can often lead people to believe they have a fungal nail infection and consequently waste time and money trying to treat a problem that is not there. Changes in the nail colour and shape may in fact be due to systemic diseases such as psoriasis. Nails may even thicken up and change colour due to increases in pressure over time, this is commonly seen with the big and little toe. At LR Podiatry we

are able to advise on this and help to diagnose the condition, we offer a 5 minute fungal nail test.

Nail fungus does not sound particularly pleasant but it is not actually a cause for concern and does not have serious consequences in otherwise healthy people.

Due to proximity, the skin around the nail and indeed of the whole foot can often carry the same fungus which may present as a flaky, itchy, red rash around the sole of the foot, the edges of the nails and in between the toes (Athlete’s foot). It is important to treat both the skin and nails and one

can reinfect the other.

After treating a fungal nail infection it is important to prevent the problem from reoccurring. Risk factors of fungal nail (and athlete’s foot) include increase contact with skin-infecting fungus, such as at gyms and swimming pools, tight shoes, circulatory problems and a weakened immune system.



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