Read More: Additional Resources: Fungal Nails
What is a fungal nail infection?
A fungal infection of the toenail occurs when a fungus attacks a fingernail, a toenail, or the skin under the nail, called the nail bed. The fungus can attack your nails through small cuts in the skin around your nail, or enter the opening between your nail and nail bed. If you are healthy, a fungal nail infection probably won't cause serious problems. But it may look bad, cause pain, or damage your nail or nail bed.
Fungal nail infection could lead to more serious problems if you have diabetes or a weak immune system. Talk to your doctor about the best way to treat a nail infection if you have one of these problems.
How is a fungal nail infection diagnosed?
Dr. Teufel will diagnose a fungal nail infection by looking at the nail, asking about your symptoms and past health and possibly performing lab tests to look for fungi.
How is it treated?
Whether to treat a fungal nail infection is up to you. If it isn't treated, it won't go away. It might get worse.
If you decide to treat a fungal nail infection, you can try a nonprescription antifungal medicine that comes in a cream, lotion or nail polish. Your doctor can also prescribe stronger medicine. You may need to use this medicine for a few weeks or for as long as a year. Even so, it may not get rid of the infection.
Antifungal pills give the best chance of curing a severe fungal nail infection, but they may cost a lot and have serious side effects. You will need to see your doctor for regular testing (bloodwork) if you take these pills.