Understanding Fungal Nail Infections: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Understanding Fungal Nail Infections Causes, Symptoms, and TreatmentFungal nail infections,, also known as onychomycosis, can be stubborn and easily spread to other nails. Albany Podiatry provides comprehensive care for nail infections, offering effective treatments to alleviate symptoms and prevent a recurrence. In this article, we will explore the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for fungal nail infections.

Causes of Fungal Nail Infections:

Fungal nail infections are caused by an overabundance of fungi, which can develop in, under, or on the nails. Fungi are microscopic organisms that thrive in warm and moist environments. Although fungi are present everywhere, certain factors increase the risk of infection, such as:

  1. Wearing tight footwear that promotes warmth and moisture
  2. Repeated trauma to the nails
  3. Regular exposure to damp or humid communal areas like locker rooms and public showers
  4. Preexisting medical conditions that weaken the immune system or impair circulation

Symptoms of Fungal Nail Infections:

Fungal nail infections develop slowly over time, and the symptoms can vary depending on the type of fungi and the location of the infection. Typically, toenails are more susceptible due to the warm and moist environment created by socks. Common symptoms of fungal nail infections include:

  1. Distortion of the nail (lifting, curling, or loosening from the nail bed)
  2. Gradual onset of pain as the infection progresses
  3. Build-up of debris under the nail
  4. Discoloration of the nail, often appearing yellow, brown, white, or green
  5. Thickening or thinning of the nail
  6. Brittle, crumbly, or split nails

Diagnosis and Treatment Options:

At Albany Podiatry, our experienced podiatrists can diagnose fungal nail infections through a thorough examination of the nail and nearby skin. In some cases, a sample of debris found under the nail may be analyzed. Treatment options vary depending on the severity of the infection.

  1. Non-Surgical Treatment:
    • Medication: Minor cases can be effectively treated with topical creams or oral antifungal medications. These treatments are typically taken daily or weekly for several months to eliminate the infection.
    • Prevention Measures: Patients are advised on proper hygiene practices, such as washing and drying hands and feet thoroughly. Trimming nails straight across and wearing moisture-absorbing socks can help prevent reinfection.
  2. Clear Nail Procedure:
    • Albany Podiatry offers a revolutionary treatment called the Clear Nail Procedure. This non-surgical procedure targets the infection directly and can be performed in the office without an overnight stay. It is an ideal option for patients with severe or recurrent infections.
    • The procedure involves numbing the area with a local anesthetic and removing the infected portion of the nail using specialized tools. In some cases, the nail matrix may be treated with a chemical solution to ensure healthy regrowth.
    • Following the removal of the infected nail, antifungal medication is applied directly to the area. The patient receives antibiotics, and the toe or finger is bandaged. The entire procedure usually takes under an hour.
    • Recovery from the Clear Nail Procedure involves keeping the area elevated to reduce pain and swelling. Regular bandage changes and prescribed medication help prevent further infection. Healing time for the nail bed can vary, ranging from one month for fingernails to 18 months or longer for toenails.

Preventing Fungal Nail Infections:

Prevention is key to avoiding recurrent fungal nail infections. Implement the following preventative measures:

  1. Wash hands and feet regularly with soap and water, ensuring thorough drying.
  2. Trim nails straight across and keep them shorter than the skin.
  3. Wear moisture-absorbing socks and change them frequently, especially if you have sweaty feet.
  4. Allow shoes to dry out for at least 24 hours before wearing them again.
  5. Consider using antifungal powder or spray to maintain shoe hygiene.
  6. Regularly inspect nails for any changes in color or texture.

Contact Albany Podiatry for Expert Care:

If you suspect a fungal nail infection or have any questions about your nail health, reach out to Albany Podiatry. Our experienced team of podiatrists can diagnose your condition and provide personalized treatment options to restore the health and appearance of your nails. Don’t let fungal nail infections persist – take action today.

It can be easy to get a nail infection, and if you’ve ever had one you know how stubborn they can be and how easily they can spread to other nails.  medically known as onychomycosis, are infections caused by fungi that can affect either the fingernails or the toenails and can develop in, under, or on the nail.

Fungi are tiny and can only be seen with microscopes. While fungi are everywhere and sometimes can live on your skin without trouble, an overabundance of fungi can lead to infection.

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