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Know the conditions that cause foot symptoms in that area.

Fungal Toenails

Onychomycosis is a fungal infection that gets into your toenail.  These infections are more common in adults older than 60 years of age, although people of any age can contract a nail fungus. People who have diabetes or circulation problems are especially prone to developing fungal nail infections.  The fungal infection can cause the nails to discolour or become thickened and deformed.  This can result in other problems such as ingrown toenails developing.

Why is it happening now?

Often it is impossible to determine where or how you got your fungal nail infection.  Places that are warm and moist often allow a fungus to grow.  Wearing heavy work boots that make your feet warm and sweaty can enable a fungus to grow inside the boot and eventually penetrate onto your nail.  Walking barefoot in change rooms, especially at the pool, predisposes people to pick-up a fungus from the wet floors.   Sometimes several people in a family will get a fungal infection in their nails at the same time.  This can happen because their immune systems aren’t able to fight off the infection very well, or because the infection is being passed on, often using the same shower or bath mat.

Can it be fixed?

Of course! There are many, many different variations of toenail fungus so your Podiatrist will need to examine the affected toenails to be able to tailor a treatment plan specifically to you.  Often physically thinning down the fungal nails with specialist equipment is a pain free, but very effective way to speed up healing times.  There are also a number of topical ointments and lacquers that can be used, or oral medications can be prescribed. Although fungal nails are very persistent, they can definitely be resolved over time.

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