Nails infected with fungus account for 50% of all nail-related diseases we treat here at Inglewood Laser and Aesthetics Plus. Both fingernails and toenails are susceptible to fungal infections, although infections are most common in toenails. This is because your toenails are exposed to warm, damp, and dirty conditions more frequently than fingernails. Wearing wet socks or tightly sealed shoes can increase your risk of developing a toenail infection.
It is important to note that fungal infections are contagious and transferable when proper hygiene habits are not practiced and through exposure to public spaces like a locker room or dorm room showers.
To prevent nail fungal infections, we recommend:
- Wearing shower shoes in public spaces
- Cleaning your nails during every shower
- Keeping your nails trimmed so no foreign objects or dirt become trapped under the nail
Typically, the first signs of having an infected nail are discoloration, thickening of the nail, and the tips of the nail beginning to crumble. Nails that are infected with fungus tend to be:
- Brittle or crumbling
- Ragged, dull or discolored
- Yellow or darker in color
- Other symptoms of nail fungus may include:
- A separation of the infected nail and the nail bed
- Yellow or white streaking on the nail
- Scaling under the nail
To diagnose a nail fungus, we examine the nail and take a scraping of the infected site. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, there are several treatments and medications we can prescribe including:
- Terbinafine: an antifungal medication taken orally or through a topical ointment.
- Itraconazole: an antifungal medication that can be given by mouth or intravenously.
- Fluconazole: Used to treat and prevent fungal or yeast infections, taken orally.
Depending on the severity of the fungal infection, it can take quite some time before the infection is entirely eradicated. Because of this, treating nail fungus takes time as the infected nail must be removed, the fungus eliminated, and a new, healthy nail to grow in its place.
For more information on nail fungus or to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us today at (310) 673-5307.