Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the nail which often causes the thickening and discolouration of the nail plate.

The breeding ground for such an infection is in the dead skin that often accumulates beneath the nail plate. When a warm moist environment is added to the mix the fungi thrive.

The initial contact point for the fungus is generally the end of the nail plate, and once it is established it continues to spread under the nail. Left untreated the infection will progress and will be visible as chalky, white plaques on the nail surface. Over time the fungus may damage the base of the nail, causing the nail to thicken and change shape.

There are a number of ways in which to treat fungal nails, the best course of action will follow a consultation with a podiatrist.

In many cases the cutting and thinning of the affected toe nails, followed by the application of an anti-fungal topical ointment may be sufficient to prevent the spread of the infection whilst treating the infected nail. Shoes being a great incubator of fungal infections ought to be treated as part of the process with an anti-fungal spray.

Despite this, sometimes a surgical option is required to treat fungal nails. Under a local anaesthetic, the affected nail can be removed and the site then treated with an appropriate medicament as the nail regrows. This option is usually only considered after all other options have been explored.

The key with any treatment plan is to address the infected area as a priority, whilst at the same time preventing the spread of the infection to nearby nails.

Contact Bentley Podiatry today for more information.