Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the toenails or fingernails causing them to thicken, discolor, disfigure and split. At first glance, onychomycosis appears to be only a cosmetic concern. However, without treatment, the toenails can become abnormally thick forcing the toe to press against the inside of the shoes causing pressure, irritation and pain.
Onychomycosis is easily identified by its appearance. However there are similar conditions and infections that can cause the nails to host a similar appearances. Onychomycosis is generally established by laboratory tests before beginning treatment.
Risk factors making one more susceptible to onychomycosis include:
- Family history
- Advancing age
- Poor health
- Showering in communal showers
- Habitually wearing shoes that don’t allow proper airflow
Treatment options vary by individual and severity of the ailment. Talk with your doctor about what treatments will work best for you.