Fungal Nail Infections

Toenail fungus is one of the most common foot problems that we see in patients, and it affects up to 15% of all Australians. Patients are often unhappy with the look of their nails, and worry about the infection spreading to their families.

Fungal nail infections are commonly detected by the change in the appearance of the toenail. Nails can become brittle, flaky, thick, discoloured (white/yellow) and have a moth-eaten appearance. In the early stages, you may notice white streaks or spots in the nail. As the infection continues, the nail may lift up from the nail bed and develop an odour.

What causes fungal nails?

A fungal nail infection, otherwise known as onychomycosis, is caused by a fungus infiltrating the nail bed and causing a change in the appearance of the toenail. Fungus spreads through spores that move through the air, as well as through direct contact. For an infection to occur, the fungus must come in contact with the nail and then infiltrate it, without the infection being cleared by the body. This is why fungus often attacks nails that have been weakened by trauma, or where the host has medical conditions or an impaired immune response.

As fungus thrives in warm, moist, and dark environments, wearing closed in footwear thick socks, and having sweaty feet, creates the ideal environment for fungus to grow. It also means that places such as gyms, saunas, public pools, showers and nail salons, also create an environment where the fungus can easily spread from foot to foot.

There are many factors that can put you at risk of developing a fungal nail infection, including:

Not drying feet properly after showering or bathing

Excessive sweating

Trauma to the nail

A weakened immune system, or suffering with HIV or diabetes

Working in a wet environment

Living in a warm environment

Poor peripheral circulation

a persons foot with a fungal toenail infection

How are fungal nail infections treated?

If you think you may have a fungal nail infection then it’s always best to visit a podiatrist who can diagnose and treat the problem. Often this involves an examination of your feet, but since other foot disorders have a similar appearance to a fungal nail infection, a nail scraping may need to be taken.

Fungal toenail infections can take a long time to treat, especially if the condition has been present for some time. Any treatment generally works by destroying the fungus, stopping the infection from spreading, and waiting for the nail to grow out. There are several treatments for fungal nails and our podiatrists will discuss these options and which may be the most suitable for you.

At Cartwright Podiatry, we’re privileged to have available one of the most effective solutions for fungal nail infections currently on the market – laser. It has delivered the best results for our patients that we have seen in the last decade. To learn more about laser and how it works, click here.

Ready to say goodbye to your fungal nail infection?

Book online or get in touch with us today

Ready to say goodbye to your Fungal
nail infection?

Book online or get in touch with us today