Understanding Fungal Nail Infections | Onychomycosis

Fungal nail infection identification | Family Podiatry Centre | Best Foot Doctor Podiatrist DPM Clinic Singapore Malaysia

Fungal nail infection or onychomycosis is a relatively common condition in Singapore, where it’s hot and humid all year long. Fungal infections are associated with athlete’s foot, a widely-known condition that – as its name suggests – often occurs to athletes who are constantly sweaty, and spending lots of time in gyms. They also cause a great number of other troublesome conditions, like thickened toenails.

Signs of a fungal infection include a mild brownish-yellowish or yellowish-greenish discolouration, which starts as a small patch and gradually extends towards the nail root. You don’t want this – when the infection gets worse, the nail starts to become crumbly and flaky, and the nail itself thickens as the fungus eats away at the keratin bonds that make your nails strong and healthy.

What causes Fungal Nail Infections?

  • Poor hygiene
    • Clean and air out your shoes regularly to reduce the risk of viral or fungal infections
  • Wearing damp shoes/socks for an extended period of time
    • Make sure to dry off your shoes and socks properly after they get wet, as wet, dark environments are where infection-causing fungi thrive

How not to treat Fungal Nail Infections

  • Pharmacies may provide anti-fungal oral or topical medications, but these are not always effective especially in severe cases.
    • Oral medications may also have harmful side-effects.

Best Fungal Nail Infection Treatment

  • Prevention is better than cure as fungal infections can worsen quickly.
    • Keep your shoes and feet clean and dry, as fungi thrive in wet, dark environments like sweaty shoes.
    • Rock-climbers in particular need to be careful, as the synthetic material used for specialized rock-climbing shoes makes it difficult to keep them fungi-free.
  • In the worst-case scenario, if the infection has spread to the nail bed, the nail itself may have to be removed to treat the nail bed. Afterwards, it may take up to 12-18 months for the nail to grow back.
    • Severe fungal infections have a high rate of recurrence even after treatment – early detection and treatment is essential

If you’re having issues with decidedly unfun fungi, book a consultation with us today to see what can be done for you.

Written by Kardem Kiter
Written by Kardem Kiter

Based in Singapore, Degree in Podiatric Medicine from the University of Johannesburg. Published in The Foot and member of The Golden Key Honour Society.

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