If you suspect you have a toenail infection, you should become familiar with the signs of toenail fungus. There are many different symptoms involved, though not all of them may be present. Since this type of infection can prove difficult to treat, it's important to act as soon as you notice the first sign of a problem.
Signs of Toenail Fungus
How do you know if you have a toenail fungus? It might be making itself at home down there, but it's not exactly visible to the naked eye. Fortunately - or unfortunately, as the case might be - there are many symptoms that will likely present themselves in time, making it easy to diagnose the problem and seek treatment. The common signs of toenail fungus include:
- Small white or yellow spot under the toenail's tip (this is often the first sign of toenail fungus)
- Yellowing of the toenail
- Dullness of the toenail, with a distinct lack of shine and luster
- Swelling of the toenail
- Thickening of the toenail
- Crumbling of the toenail (it may also appear ragged or brittle)
- Spots or streaks on the side of the toenail
- Distorted toenail shape
- Changes in color of the toenail (shades can change from yellow to brown to white, all caused by a buildup of debris buildup beneath the nail)
- Odor, which may occur when the infection causes the nail to separate from the nail bed (this is known as onycholysis)
It is imperative to seek treatment at the first sign of anything questionable or out of the ordinary. Even if you're not entirely sure that you're dealing with a toenail fungus, it's better to be safe than sorry. Once the infection has taken control, it can spread quickly from one toenail to another. From there, it is not unusual for the infection to persist indefinitely. The moral here is to head straight to the doctor as soon as you notice any symptoms of toenail fungus.In addition to simply offering relief from pain and discomfort, prompt treatment is necessary for other reasons, too. A lingering nail fungus can cause permanent damage, and may even lead to other types of infections that can spread beyond the toenails.