What are fungal nail infections?

Fungal nail infections are also known as onychomycosis. Symptoms include white or yellow nail discolouration, thickening of the nail, and separation of the nail from the nail bed. It most commonly affects the toe nails and is more common in males than females. Approximately 10% of the population is affected. Risk factors include peripheral vascular disease, nail deformities, improper foot hygiene and exposure to others with the condition.

This condition does not necessarily require treatment. Treatment options include oral and topical medications most commonly prescribed by your family physician. Surgery to remove the fungus is also possible. This involves freezing your toe and removing the nail. If we allow the nail to grow back in, there is a highly recurrence rate. We often recommend using a chemical called phenol to stop the nail from growing back and eliminating the chance of recurrence in the future.