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Our Foot Care Blog
An ongoing series of informative foot health articles
What is Fungal Nail Infection?
Fungal nails are a common condition caused by similar species of fungus that cause athlete’s foot. While sometimes alarming and visually less than pleasing, fungal nails are of no long term concern for the patient, their feet, or the toes themselves. Nails may become thick, irregular, or deformed, but the fungal infection alone will not cause any harm to the patient. If left unattended, the underlying skin can become broken down or ingrown, however, this is true of any nail that has been allowed to grow uncontrolled and untreated.
Many other skin conditions may also affect the nail leading to a misdiagnosis or confusion with a fungal nail. Most often trauma of the underlying nail bed, leaving dry blood, will be confused with fungus. Diagnoses are only positively identified by fungal nail scrapings that are cultured. This is often done by a physician.
Nails with a fungal infection are typically managed by routine clipping, the reduction of irregular thickness and / or clearing of debris under the nail. The foot care provider cannot do anything to remove, kill or change the fungal infection in either a single or multiple treatment sessions. Potential resolution of the infection lies with topical, oral, or other modalities based treatments where success rates vary.
Who Gets Fungal Infections?
Everyone can potentially get a fungal infection