Fungal Nail infection is known as ‘Onychomycosis’, and is a fungal infection of the nail plate. It is a common dermatological condition in Australia1. A fungal nail infection may start as a white or yellow spot under the tip of the finger or toenail. As it spreads, the infected nail will change appearance.
Common symptoms of a fungal nail infection:
Discolouration – white or yellow patches may appear and spread, usually at the tip of the nail
Nail becomes thick, rough, or brittle
Crumbling or jagged edges
Nail splitting from the skin beneath
Fungal nail infections can often occur due to increased use of communal change rooms at gyms or swimming pools, or via unsterilised equipment in nail salons. Fungal nail infections are seven times more likely to occur on the toenails than on the fingernails1. The inside of a shoe, where it’s dark, warm and moist, is the perfect environment for fungi to thrive.
An infection toe/nail can be embarrassing and difficult to treat. It will not clear up on its own and can be contagious spreading to other nails. It is important to treat at the first sign of symptoms as it may spread resulting in other fungal infections.
Reference: 1. Eisman S et al. Fungal Nail Infection: Diagnosis and Management. British Medical Journal 2014.