A little case of toenail fungus is practically a rite of passage — you quickly learn not to go barefoot in a locker room or shared shower area again and to always pack clean socks. But what happens when your toenail problem goes beyond a suspect smell and yellowed appearance?
At Rocky Mountain Foot and Ankle Center, with locations in Wheat Ridge, Granby, Evergreen, and Arvada, Colorado, our team of podiatrists and foot and ankle surgeons provide care for fungal toenail infections and much more. They believe in educating patients about skin and nail care so you can help avoid common problems and keep your feet healthy and strong.
Toenail fungus 101
Damp, warm environments breed fungi like crazy, and your nail bed is home sweet home where toenail fungus is concerned. If the fungus takes a strong hold under the nail, you can end up with a nasty infection.
Your chances of contracting a toenail fungus increase if you:
- Walk around in locker rooms barefoot
- Have had recurring athlete's foot
- Have poor circulation in your feet and toes
- Ever share your nail-clippers, socks, or shoes with other people
- Tend to sweat heavily
- Don’t change your socks or wear the same pair of shoes all the time
Top 5 signs your toenail fungus has gone nuclear
You need to get to a podiatrist if you see any of the following serious symptoms of fungal toenail infection:
1. Nail color changes
If your nail turns white and chalky or yellow, it’s not a good sign. If it turns brown or green, it’s a very bad sign. It means the fungus has really gotten out of control, and your toe is infected.
2. Nail position changes
If your nail starts to curl downward or upward, it’s time to be concerned. If it lifts away from the nail bed, you’ve got a real problem. It means the connection between your nail and your toe is being destroyed by infection.
3. Nail texture changes
If your nail gets brittle and breaks easily, it’s a sign the fungal infection is changing the composition of the nail. If it becomes soft and chalky and starts to crumble away, the infection is starting to become severe.
4. Nail smell changes
Feet are stinky, but if a bad odor is coming from your nails, it’s probably fungus. If the stench is awful even after a good scrubbing, it’s likely an infection run amok.
5. Nail sensation changes
Your nails may feel sensitive if you’re on your feet a lot, or your shoes are too small, but pain that comes from under the nail bed is likely from a fungal infection and is a sign you need medical attention.
Think your toenail fungus has escalated to an infection? Don’t delay. Give your nearest Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle location a call for an appointment or schedule one online today.