What is a Fungal Infection?
Toenail fungus—also called onychomycosis or tinea unguium—is an infection below the surface of the nail caused by contact with different types of fungi. Nail fungus usually begins with white or yellow spots under the tip of the toenails. If left untreated, the infection can grow deeper, which can cause the nail to become weak or brittle to the point that it eventually falls off.
Athlete’s foot, also known as tinea pedis, is a common fungal infection that typically targets the skin on the feet, particularly between the toes. This infection is often seen in athletes, hence its name, but it can affect anyone. Symptoms include itching, burning, peeling, and sometimes a noticeable odor. The fungus thrives in warm and moist environments, such as the insides of sweaty shoes or public showers and locker rooms. If left untreated, the infection can spread to other parts of the body, including the toenails, and can lead to more severe complications. Treatment usually involves over-the-counter antifungal creams or prescribed medications for more persistent cases. Preventive measures include keeping the feet dry, changing socks regularly, and wearing well-ventilated shoes. Regular foot hygiene and care can go a long way in preventing athlete’s foot and ensuring the overall health of your feet.
Types of Common Fungal Nail Infections
In general, there are four types of fungal infections that affect the toes. These include:
- Distal subungual onychomycosis (DSO): This is the most commonly diagnosed and treated fungal infection. Also known as Athlete’s Foot, this infection spreads across the nail bed, which causes the nail to become discolored and weak.
- White superficial onychomycosis (WSO): Far less common than Athlete’s Foot, WSO causes white patches to appear across the entire nail.
- Candida onychomycosis: This chronic fungus is usually caused by trauma, and it causes the toenails to become bulbous or enlarged.
- Proximal subungual onychomycosis (PSO): This fungal infection causes yellow or white spots to appear near the base of the toenail.
Signs & Symptoms of Toenail Fungus
Because there are varying types and levels of severity for toenail fungus, it’s important to have your condition diagnosed by a podiatric physician. If you are worried that you might be suffering from a fungal infection in your nails, perform a self-evaluation to look for the following common symptoms:
- Scaling under the nail
- Distorted nail
- White or yellow streaks on the nail
- Foul odor from the infected nail
- Crumbling corner or tip of nail
- Flaking white areas on the toenail’s surface
- Loss of the nail
Tolcylen Fungal Products
Tolcylen is a leading-edge solution designed specifically for the treatment of fungal infections, particularly those affecting the nails and skin. Harnessing a unique blend of active ingredients, Tolcylen not only targets and eliminates the fungi responsible for conditions like athlete’s foot and onychomycosis (fungal nail infection) but also promotes the health and appearance of the affected areas. Its formulation ensures deep penetration, delivering effective relief and addressing the root cause of the fungal issue. Unlike many conventional treatments, Tolcylen offers both antifungal and cosmetic benefits, making it a comprehensive solution for those battling persistent fungal conditions.
How are Fungal Infections Treated?
Treatment isn’t always necessary—depending on the severity of your condition—but it is recommended simply because it might be contagious. Not only can you spread the condition to someone else, but depending on the type of fungus, can also spread to infect your other toes.
For mild cases of toenail fungus, your doctor will likely start with conservative treatments. These may include prescription anti-fungal oral medications or topical solutions. For patients who exhibit severe symptoms—or for those who do not respond to medication—the doctor may recommend nail avulsion surgery. During this procedure, the nail plate is removed and chemical treatments are introduced to treat the infection.
Contact your podiatrist for more information or to schedule a consultation.