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Nail Fungus


Nail fungus

, or onychomycosis, is a fungal infection in your toenail or fingernail. Nail fungus is more common in toenails than fingernails. The cause of the infection may not be known.

Common symptoms include the following:

  • Nails that curl up or down or are misshapen
  • Discolored (often white, yellow, or brown) nails
  • Fragile or cracked nails
  • Thick nails or nails with rough, jagged edges
  • Nail that is separated from the nail bed
  • Tenderness or pain in the affected nail

Contact your healthcare provider if:

You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Treatment for nail fungus

may include antifungal medicine and topical treatments. Antifungal medicine is a pill that treats a fungal infection. You may need to take this medicine for up to 12 weeks. Topical treatments include creams and polishes that you apply to the top of your nail. You may need to use topical treatments for up to 1 year before you see positive results. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about antifungal medicine.

Manage your symptoms:

  • Use antifungal sprays or powders. You can buy these at your local drugstore.
  • Keep your nails short and file down any thick areas. Use separate nail trimmers and files for infected nails and healthy nails. If you go to a salon to get your nails done, bring your own nail files and trimmers.

Prevent nail fungus:

  • Dry your feet with a towel or hair dryer after you bathe.
  • Do not wear tight-fitting shoes or shoes that pinch your toes. Avoid shoes made from rubber or plastic.
  • Wear socks that absorb moisture. This includes socks make of wool, nylon, or polypropylene. Do not wear cotton socks. Change your socks if they are damp from sweat or your feet get wet. Put on dry, clean socks every day.
  • Do not go barefoot in locker rooms or public showers.
  • Do not use nail polish or artificial nails such as acrylic or gel nails.
  • Wear gloves that are waterproof if you work with water.

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.