Signs & Symptoms of Fungal Toenails


A common foot condition called fungal toenail can range from being mild that it is barely noticeable to being so severe that amputation should be considered. A mild infection can sometimes be treated with over the counter treatments. If your fungal infection returns you should see your podiatrist for a more comprehensive treatment.

In the beginning stages, a fungal toenail infection will exhibit some of the following symptoms:

1)    White lines or discolored spots may appear on the surface of the toenail

2)    Your toenails will become thicker and more brittle

3)    The surface of the nail may appear softer and have a powdery residue

If the nails are left untreated the infection will worsen leading to the following complications:

1)    Severe discoloration, usually turning to brown, gray, or deep yellow

2)    More pronounced ridges in the toenail

3)    Thickening of the nail will increase

4)    The fungus will produce a noticeable odor

5)    You may experience pain from wearing shoes while walking or standing

Tea tree oil has been shown to be an effective treatment for mild toenail fungus, but in more severe situations that are worsened by nerve damage, circulation problems, and immune irregularities, more aggressive treatment will be required.

Some possible consequences of leaving a fungal toenail infection untreated for a long period of time include the following:

1)    Complete removal of the nail may be necessary in order to treat the infection

2)    The fungus can spread to other parts of the body and blood poisoning can occur that can be life threatening.

3)    Severe infections may even lead to toe or foot amputation.

If you have a fungal toenail infection it may be damaging your health so it is important to see your foot doctor for treatment. At E.J. Nemet Podiatry in Twinsburg,  E.J. Nemet, DPM, treats a variety of foot and ankle conditions, including sports injuries, pediatric foot problems, diabetic foot complications, nerve disorders, and toenail and skin conditions. With advanced technologies and a dedicated staff, Dr. Nemet provides expert and compassionate care to patients in the Twinsburg and Beachwood areas. To contact us or to schedule an appointment, please call (234) 212-9940.