Signs and symptoms of a nail fungus infection.
A nail fungus can be seen, smelled, or even felt once it takes hold. Here is a list of some of the most common signs and symptoms of nail fungus:
The nail fungus may affect the appearance of the nails. They might look greenish, yellowish, or even darker colors. Some may have little white patches on them.
Nails may get flaky, brittle and chipped.
Debris might collect under your nails causing them to smell bad.
Sometimes nail fungus causes the nails to split.
Sometimes toenails get so thick that even wearing shoes or walking will be painful.
If you think that you have a nail fungus go to your healthcare provider and he or she will perform a test. This is the only way to know for sure if you have a nail fungus.
How to prevent a nail fungus from affecting your toenails?
Well-fitting shoes is always a good defense against a nail fungus. Shoes are well-fitting where there is space (about the width of a thumb) between the end of the shoe and the tip of the longest toe, preventing the toe from being damaged upon impact. Another way to prevent the nail fungus from appearing is to change socks whenever they become damp.
What to do when you have a nail fungal infection?
The nail fungus is hard to eliminate and needs treatment with proper medications, once it establishes in your nail bed. Unfortunately, in most cases, anti-fungal creams applied to the nail are useless because they do not penetrate the nail bed killing the fungus at its sourse.
However, there are strong oral medications that must be taken for months in order to be effective. But, be careful as most medications have side effects to other body organs like the liver or the skin, etc. Ask your physician to monitor side effects during treatment. This consists in periodic blood tests, usually monthly. Any of the following symptoms suggests organ damage and should be reported immediately to your physician: nausea, unusual fatigue, severe loss of appetite, skin rashes, yellow eyes, dark urine, bleeding.
Keep in mind that this list is far from being complete. If you are treating yourself for nail-fungal infection using oral medications, ask your physician for a complete list.