What is nail fungus?

Nail fungus is a condition that occurs when a microscopic fungus enters one or more nails. This condition often begins as an infection in the skin called tinea pedis, which is commonly referred to as athlete’s foot. As the nail fungus penetrates deeper into the nail, it may cause the nail to discolor, thicken, and develop crumbling edges- an unsightly and potentially painful problem.


What causes nail fungus?

The causative pathogens of toenail fungus include dermatophytes (organisms that feed on dead skin and nails), Candida (a classification of yeast), and mold. These microscopic organisms typically thrive in dark, warm, and moist environments. The insides of shoes are a perfect environment to harbor fungal organisms.


What is nail fungus treatment?

The feet are more often neglected in personal grooming than with other parts of the body, thus regular preventative care should be taken as part of one's daily regimen.
  • It is important to wash your feet regularly and dry them thoroughly after bathing.
  • Keep your nails dry, short, and clean.
  • Avoid walking barefoot in public places such as communal bathing facilities and pools.
  • If you sweat excessively change your socks often.
  • Use an antifungal spray or powder on your feet and the inside of your shoes.

At Chiltern Wellbeing we will properly diagnose the cause of toenail problems with a simple in house microbiology test to accurately determine the type of fungus you have.  Treatment of this condition will then depend on the type of organism causing the infection, severity of the infection and overall health status of the patient.


We will initially remove as much of the affected nails as possible by trimming, filling, and mechanically debriding the nail to a more normal thickness and appearance. Medicated antifungal nail lacquer may be prescribed for a localised mild to moderate infection. Prescription oral antifungal medications may be prescribed for a more serious infection. The option to surgically remove the infected nail may be warranted in some cases.

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