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Fungal toe nails... or Onychomycosis

Yellow toe nails.. not the look you wanted. They don't hurt, so is it a problem?

Onychomycosis is the medical term for fungal nails. Most often seen on the toe nails, due to the moist, dark environment, having fungal nails is rarely painful, but is always unsightly and can be a precursor for other conditions.

A very common condition amongst the population, but also one that takes a long time to treat successfully.

Often starting on the edge of the nail, it is not long before the entire nail is infected. In time the infection will continue to spread to the other nails on your foot, before often jumping to the other foot and continuing with the toes there (Because of swapping socks!)

The fungus, normally yellow or white in colour, will slowly eat away at the nail until it begins to crumble, resulting in parts of your nail falling off. Occasionally the entire nail may become loose which can cause issues on the nail bed underneath.

Treatments for fungal nail conditions

You will probably have seen the adverts for various fungal nail treatments, and maybe even bought some from a pharmacist. There are many to choose from. But what you are not receiving when you buy that treatment is the advice and guidance from a Podiatrist as to how to use the treatment, what to expect and what other factors need to be taken in to consideration.

Treatment can take over 12 months to complete successfully, and even then only if you have followed the strict regime advised by the Podiatrist. Many people with fungal nails will learn to live with the condition and instead make regular podiatry appointments to have their feet checked over, with debridement of fungal areas where necessary.


The risks to consider with having fungal nails is not the condition itself but secondary infections that may occur should the removal of nails cause there to be an open wound.

In a nut shell...

So having a fungal nail condition isn't a major issue unless you're one to show off your feet in summer, or are immunodeficient in some way. But it would still be wise to speak to a podiatrist as they will be able to provide you with day to day advice on how to manage the condition as well as offering a variety of different treatment options, both conservative and extensive.

Don't live with painful feet - See a Podiatrist!

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