Common Nail Problems
Fungal Nail Infection (Onychomycosis)
Fungal nail often occurs when athlete’s foot is present and the fungal infection spreads to the toenails.
Fungal nail causes nails to become thickened, brittle and discolour. In the early stages of fungal nail, the nail may have white or yellow patches of discoloration. If left to get progressively worse the nail will grow thick, deformed, discoloured and have an unpleasant smell. It usually starts with the big toenail and often spreads to the adjacent toenails. Underneath and around the nail (the nailbed), the skin can sometimes become inflamed and painful.
To confirm the diagnosis a nail clipping from the infected nail can be sent to a laboratory to find out the exact cause of the infection.
After diagnosis fungal nail is usually treated with antifungal nail paint and sometimes antifungal tablets are prescribed. Be warned both treatments can take 6 – 18 months.
Thickened Toenails (Onychauxis)
Thickened toe nails often occur as we age, pressure from ill fitting shoes, fungal infection and trauma can all contribute to thickened toe nails. The big toenails is commonly affected But any nail can be affected. The nail can be reduced in thickness to aid comfort and reduce pressure.
Ingrown Toenail (Onycocryphosis)
Ingrown toenail is a painful condition where the nail edges penetrates the skin. Ingrown toenails are often due to poor toenail cutting technique. A ‘spike’ of toenail causes pain and sometimes infection, treatment involves removing the painful nail spike. Advice on correct toenail cutting, hosiery and footwear can reduce your risk of having a reoccurrence. If the ingrown toenail is persistent then a more permanent solution is required using local anaesthetic to numb your toe, a section of nail is removed and a chemical is applied to prevent that section of nail growing back.

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