How Fungal Toenails Develop

No one wants to look down and see discolored, toenails on his or her feet. Now, toenail fungus treatment is always an option—and we will be glad to help—but we are inclined to think that you would rather prevent the condition from developing in the first place. If we’re right about that, you will likely be happy to know there are measures you can take to reduce your risk. The first step in preventing them is learning about fungal toenail development.

diagnosing fungal toenailsWhen it comes to toenail fungus, the clear starting point is with the microorganisms that make your toenails, well, less than clear. The particular organism responsible for most of these infections is a dermatophyte fungus, but there are molds and yeasts that can also be responsible. One common feature of all of these microscopic organisms is that they don’t require sunlight to survive. Instead, they simply need a warm, damp environment, which can quite accurately describe a foot encased in a sock and shoe.

So how does the infection actually happen? Well, in most cases, the problem starts when your skin makes contact with a contaminated surface. Since the fungi thrives in warm, damp environments, this can mean walking barefoot in places like gym locker rooms and showering areas, or indoor pool decks.

The fungus making contact with your skin is not enough for the infection to take place. The microorganisms still need an entry path into the body. Tiny cuts, abrasions, and ingrown toenails provide such opportunities for the potential infection to start.

Once infected, debris will begin to build up under the surface of the nail. This ultimately leads to darkened, discolored toenail tissues. The nails can also start to become crumbly, thickened, and distorted. It is especially important to recognize these symptoms if you have diabetes, but anyone should really be aware of them. The reasoning behind this is simply the fact that this infection will not eventually go away on its own. Instead, fungal toenail treatment is needed.

If you discover toenails that are unsightly and infected, come see us here at Advanced Foot and Ankle for the treatment you need. We will prescribe the right medications to return your nails back to their healthy, shiny selves. Contact us today for more information by calling our Twin Falls office at (208) 731-6321, our Burley office at (208) 312-4646, or request an appointment at either location online today.

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