Fungal infections are very common on both fingernail and toenails. It is a living organism that thrives in dark, damp environments such as under and around nails. Toes are more likely to be affected by fungus since it is attracted to a dark and damp environment which is more common on the foot than on the hand. Fungus of the toenails can affect people of all ages, although it most commonly affects individuals who are older.
In more severe conditions, affected nails can have a yellowish or brownish discoloration. They may thicken or become brittle over time, and may even shed. Sometimes the nails have crumbling edges. It can be embarrassing, unsightly, disfiguring, and at times, painful.
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. Many people have difficulty with their toenails and need assistance in caring for them. A foot and ankle surgeon can diagnose the cause of toenail problems and recommend treatments.
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