Fungal infections of the fingernails and toenails are known as onychomycosis. It is common with increased age and rarely affects children. Toenails are the most vulnerable to fungal infections because shoes and socks trap moisture and promote the growth of fungi. If left untreated, onychomycosis can lead to permanent nail damage.
Fungal nail infections can appear as white of yellowed thickened nails that can be brittle with debris beneath the nail bed. One of more nails may be involved, and often accompanies fungal infections of the skin of the feet (tinea pedis).
Treatment of fungal nail infections may be difficult, and recurrence is common. Most antifungal creams are not very effective because they cannot penetrate the hard nail surface. Oftentimes, an oral antifungal medication is needed. Make sure the infected area is clean and dry, thus less suitable for the fungus to grow. Wear light and airy shoes, as non-ventilated shoes that don’t breathe cause your feet to remain moist, providing an excellent area for the fungus to breed. Absorbent socks that wick water away from your feet such as cotton socks will help. A medicated foot powder can help keep feet dry.