Causes and Treatments of Toenail Fungus

Tired of hiding your thickened toenails under a coat of nail polish?

There are many reasons as to what causes toenails to become thickened and discolored:

  • Toenails will often become thick as an individual grows older
  • Thickening may also occur as a result of trauma to the toenail, such as when it repeatedly hits the end of a shoe that is too short
  • Sometimes when something is dropped on the toenail, the nail will fall off. When a new toenail grows back it will often be thicker than it was previously
  • Thick toenails can also be seen in individuals with nail fungus (onychomycosis), psoriasis, and hypothyroidism

A fungus is an organism that lives in dark, warm moist areas, such as inside shoes and under nail polish. Fungus of the toenails is a common problem that can affect people of all ages. Here are some not so fun facts about toenail fungus:

  • Toenail fungus often begins as an infection in the skin called tinea pedis (also known as athlete’s foot)
  • The fungus often starts under the nail fold at the end of the nail. Over time it grows underneath the nail and causes changes to its appearance, such as a yellow or brownish        discoloration.
  • It can also cause thickening and deformity of the toenail, which can be painful or cosmetically unpleasant.

If treatment is not initiated, toenail fungus can gradually get worse. Some precautionary measures include proper hygiene of your feet, keeping them dry, avoiding barefoot walking, and wearing clean socks or stockings every day.

Depending on the type of fungal infection you have, you may need a prescribed medication and have the nail debris removed.  Many people have difficulty with their toenails and need assistance in caring for them.

At the Foot & Ankle Center of Cape Coral we are dedicated to restoring the healthy growth of your toenails. You don’t have to hide your toes any longer, give us a call today.

Arin J. Sheingold, DPM