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What is onychomycosis, and how can I treat it?

Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the nail, and is a common side effect of athlete’s foot. The fungi that causes these foot conditions thrive in warm, moist areas, such as gyms, swimming pools, or locker rooms. Since athlete’s foot is also caused by a fungus, it makes sense that other bacteria will thrive under similar conditions, such as moist feet, damp socks, and tight-fitting shoes.

You may have a fungal nail infection if you experience any of the following changes in your toenails:

  • Brittleness 
  • Dullness or cloudy patches
  • Thickening of the nail 
  • Crumbling or fraying on the nail edges
  • Change in the shape of your toenails
  • A lifted appearance or “loosening” of the nail
  • Debris trapped between the nail bed and toenail
  • White or yellow streaks on the sides of the toenails

Treatment for nail infections can be complicated. In most cases over-the-counter medications will not be effective, so you may suffer symptoms even after you get rid of athlete’s foot. The best course of treatment is prescription anti-fungal medicines, usually in a pill form. To prevent the fungus from coming back, you will likely need to take an anti-fungal medication for 2 to 3 months.

If you have been dealing with a persistent foot ailment, the Philadelphia podiatrists at HealthMark Foot & Ankle Associates can help.Call us today for an appointment in Media at 610-565-3668 or in Phoenixville at 610-933-8644, or click the link on this page for a FREE copy of our book, The Foot is Not an Island: Recognizing Vitamin D Deficiency & How to Correct It.