If you’ve ever had it, you know that dealing with toenail fungus is unpleasant. When most people think about this condition, they visualize its late-stage symptoms, such as brown/yellow nail discoloration, crumbling or brittle nails, and toenails that are thicker than normal. But if the fungus has already reached this stage, it has been growing for a while. In today’s post, Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA, is sharing what you need to know about this condition so it won’t ruin your summer.
Toenail fungus in its early stages is not invisible, and knowing the symptoms of early-stage nail fungus can prevent it from becoming more serious.
There are some symptoms to look for if you’re worried about toenail fungus. Sometimes it may be easier to examine the texture and shape of the nail because, in its early stage, it can cause the shape of the affected toenail to become distorted. You might also see small areas of flaking or crumbling along the edges of your nails.
Another potential early sign is yellow or white spots on the toenail; however, this can be difficult to discern. In some cases, similar streaks may appear from common injuries to the toenail. For instance, if you have stubbed your toe recently, you might see similar discolorations. But if you notice unfamiliar discolored spots that can’t be explained, it could indicate toenail fungus.
Toenail Fungus: What Does it Look Like?
If toenail fungus isn’t identified in its early stages, its physical symptoms will change considerably. Often, the first indication of severe toenail fungus is when the nail thickens quickly because the fungus often causes swelling after some time.
Next, the nail tends to become weak and may start to crumble. Lastly, untreated nail fungus often produces a heavy-duty discoloration of the entire nail. Your toenail may turn brown or yellow as it crumbles. Any of these symptoms should indicate seeking treatment for toenail fungus.
Treatment Options for Toenail Fungus
Luckily, plenty of OTC medications can be used to treat toenail fungus. If this doesn’t work, several more advanced treatments cure the fungus. Following proper treatment, the nail should eventually heal completely.
Preventative steps such as washing feet and hands frequently, wearing breathable shoes and socks, and not walking barefoot in wet public areas (swimming pools, locker rooms, etc.) are efficient ways to prevent the spread of nail fungus.
If you have used at-home treatments without success, it’s time to contact Dr. Hubert Lee and his team at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA. We will diagnose your problem and provide the best treatment options. You can easily schedule an appointment online or by calling us at 425-455-0936.