One way to never allow a nail fungus infection to get severe is to understand some of the symptoms of nail fungus and treat it immediately. If a nail fungus infection is recognized early and a treatment is regularly applied, the treatment time can be shortened significantly. Just like many other infections, if you can begin treatment before the infection has gotten entrenched, treatment times are shorter and success rates are higher. Read on for some of the primary symptoms and signals that a nail fungus infection may be present.
The first sign of toenail fungus is the color change of the nails. In the initial stages of infection, there may be presence of small white or yellow patches underneath the nails. As the infection progresses, the overall color of the infected toes change to dull yellow, brown or sometimes, black. White superficial onychomycosis is another type of toenail fungus that is less common. In this type of infection, the nail turns white in color instead of yellow or brown and the surface of the nails becomes dry, soft and powdery.
There is change in the texture of the infected nails and growth is hampered. The infected toes become thicker, chalky and brittle. Sometimes, they become so thick that it is difficult to cut the nails. There can be shedding of the nails and crumbling of the edges. In severe case, it can lead to complete loss of the nail. Underneath the infected toes, one can find keratinous debris that looks like dirt. This accumulation of debris causes the nail to swell. It can be cleaned only if proper treatment is done. Another noticeable sign of toenail fungus is foul smell from underneath the infected nails.
Treatment of toenail fungus is also done by following home remedies and medication, which can be topical or oral. It is always better to take proper care of your nails in order to avoid dermatophyte infections. Some of the tips on nail care and foot care are wearing clean socks (cotton socks if available) and breathable shoes and keeping the nails dry and clean as far as possible. Care should be taken while going to public gyms and swimming pools, as chances of getting infected from dermatophytes are high in these areas. It is advisable to wear slippers or any footwear before entering such public areas.