How Can I Tell If I Have Toenail Fungus?

toenail_pus

Fungal infections of the toenails are quite common, and are caused by microorganisms that make their way into the tiny cracks in our skin, usually around the toenails. The toes are most often the site of infection because of the favorable environment of the foot… dark and damp. There are several indications or symptoms of a toenail fungus, and if you know what to look for these symptoms are very easy to spot.

Scroll for Disturbing Toenail Fungus Pictures Below

nasty-toenail-fungus

The first symptom you may notice is a small white or yellow spot on the nail, this spot may be very small making it hard to notice. The small spot on the nail is the beginning stages of the fungal infection and with time will grow and progress to a much larger area, sometimes engulfing the whole nail. The lack of discomfort, and the use of nail polish in women, can allow this minor change to go by un-noticed.

Examples of Toenail Fungus

Do Your Toes Look Like That?

After awhile the small yellow spot will gradually become larger, and the remaining areas of the toenail, that are not discolored, may become extremely dull. It is at this point you may notice a darker center in the yellow coloring on your toenail, or around the edges of your toenail. This darker brownish black discoloration is not a classic symptom of the condition, and often only occurs in severe cases of infection. A loss of the toenail may occur if this darker coloration occurs in conjunction with separation of the nail and skin.

The thickening and yellowing of the toenail is often referred to as a classic toenail fungus symptom. Another common symptom is the flaking of the toenail; sometimes if the fungus is severe enough it can actually cause parts of your toenail to flake off, disfiguring your toenail.

The only definite way to know if you actually have a toenail fungus is to seek medical advice. There are a few steps included in the diagnostic process, which usually includes a physical examination of the infected toe, then a series of questions, and finally a culture of the infected toe. Observation of symptoms is a very large part of the diagnostic process, this is due to the fact that fungal infections of the nails usually always present with the same set of symptoms. Also, your doctor may ask if you have been swimming in a public pool or a spa lately; swimming in a public pool or spa increases your chances for toenail fungal infections greatly.

Lastly, when your doctor cultures your toenail he is looking for very specific funguses, the identification of this fungus will help your doctor know what medication will best treat your condition. Not allowing your doctor to culture the infected toe can delay your recovery, and toenail funguses are very difficult to treat even when caught quickly. The thing one must realize about a nail fungus is unlike a cold there are not many conditions that mimic these symptoms. However, there are a few conditions that do, and it is imperative to find out the exact fungus that is causing the problem, and the only way to do this is by seeing your doctor.

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15 thoughts on “How Can I Tell If I Have Toenail Fungus?

  1. Leigh Robertson says:

    I have two black spots under my big toe nail. Very small…one is long in shape and the other is just a dot and just appeared yesterday. No other symptoms as shown in your pictures. Is this a fungus?

  2. Hi, did you find out what the spots were? I’m asking (and I don’t mean to alarm you) because that sounds like one sign of melanoma. My father in law died from this, so I’m just asking you to take it seriously and seek medical advice. Again, don’t worry, I am sure it could be Soooo many other things that are NOT life threatening.

  3. I found a dark spot under one of my toenails, thought it was a bruise, I was looking at it tonight and found that the nail is not attached to my skin it is just a hole there! Any ideas and where should I go to get it checked I am thinking like immediately!

  4. Cherie,

    Unfortunately you must let your toe-nails BREATHE.. so I wouldn’t cover up your nails and I would file them down and use tea tree oil and/or a topical treatment as well.. It looks bad now but just cover up the problem will not make it better but worst.

  5. hi,pls can u help,,,theres a 7 yr old boy that has a hollow on his 2 big toes,,,they also look blackish,he had it in 1 toe years ago and now its on his big toe of the next foot,,,pls help,whats ur advice to treat it naturally ,or herbal remedy? could it be fungal or a deficiency of something in his body?

  6. Soo my toe nails have been hurtingg and likee burningg a lot i dont know what that iss.? I cant even walkk. Do youu know what it cann bee?

  7. i had my toe nails painted back in may and when i took off the paint my big toe was black under the nail, i thought it was the paint that had seeped under the nail as it did not feel sore or like a bruise, so have waited for it to grow out, but now the nail is coming away from the toe,so have cut it right back till all the black has gone, will have to wait till the nail grows back now, do you think i should see a doctor ? is it an infection?

  8. Very quicky. A tcnikehed pale yellow line, usually near trauma.The fungi eat the substance of the nails.It will take a year to be rid of it. The damaged nail cannot be repaired, it needs to regrow. If you apply the treatment, (there are lots, but loceryl/terbinafine are the best) It will grow out cleanly.Wash your socks in HOT water, wash your shower in bleach

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