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Fungal Nail Infection (onychomycosis)
Fungal nail infections are usually caused by a fungal skin infection spreading to the nails. The fungal spores grow under an infected nail which makes it extremely difficult to treat as over-the-counter topical creams or powders cannot get under the nail.
When the nail appears dark brown and yellow in appearance the nail bed is normally infected.
Fungal nail is contagious, starts in one nail and gradually spreads to more nails. It is usually the nails on the feet that are affected but fungus on fingernails can also occur.
Nail fungus thrives best in warm, damp environments. Visiting places where people gather, such as swimming pools, public showers and changing rooms, can involve a risk of infection. Warm and tight shoes also help the fungus to thrive.
The fungus grows slowly and often displays slight symptoms to begin with. Nail fungus is characterised by the nails' layers becoming ridged and brittle. The nail gradually becomes discoloured, thickened and cracks or flakes off. The infected nail can fall off if it is not treated. Nail fungus can, in certain cases, be painful and smelly.
Chiropodist / Podiatrist
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