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Toenail Fungus Symptoms – How to Tell if You Have Toenail Fungus

Updated on August 29, 2010

Toenail fungus is a fungal infection that occurs under the nail bed of the toenail.  It is an unsightly disease that can discolor and deform your toenail.  It’s easy to think it’s no big deal and that you can hide it because you wear socks and shoes every day.  However, if left untreated in can spread and cause further complication, which is why it’s important to recognize the symptoms of toenail fungus infection. 

While it can be embarrassing to have toenail fungus, don’t worry because you’re not alone.  This condition, also known as onychomycosis, affects approximately 35 million people.  There are numerous cures available and the sooner you recognize toenail fungus symptoms and get them treated, the quicker you can go back to being worry free about your feet.

Toenail Fungus Symptoms

There are several questions you can ask yourself to see if you have the signs of a toenail fungus symptom.

“Are my nails discolored?”  The toenail is normally an opaque pink tone.  With a fungal toenail infection part or all of your nail can turn to white or yellow and sometimes even black.  This discoloring will occur gradually over time so it may be difficult to notice; however, you should be able to compare it to your fingernails to get a fair comparison.

“Are my nails thicker than normal?”  Because the infection is taking place under the nail bed the nail will actually become thicker than normal.  It will also become brittle and parts of the nail can break off.  This thickness can become painful so you should be able to notice it if you’re experiencing unexplainable tremendous nail pain.

“Are my nails starting to split?”  As the infection gets worse and the toenail starts to degrade the nail will split.  This is extremely uncomfortable and will be very noticeable. 

“Are my nails disfigured or not normally shaped?”  Once the fungal infection of the toenail has reached the advanced stages the toenail will become disfigured and oddly shaped.  This is not a normal healthy toenail state and you need to see your doctor as soon as possible.

While it’s often easy to ignore it thinking that it will go away, denial has a high price.  If left untreated it will get worse; the fungal infection will grow and proceed through the stages described above.  On top of that once the infection takes hold it’s harder to get rid of and if left untreated it will spread to other toenails increasing in intensity and pain.  Not to mention it’s embarrassing, not being able to walk around barefoot without being self-conscious about how your toenails look.  While this is the least of your problems, it’s a strong incentive to treat the toenail fungal infection.

Toenail Fungus Remedies

The good news is that there are a good amount of cures available, both commercial as well as natural toenail fungus cures.  If you have advanced stages of toenail fungus infection you’re going to need to see a doctor.  He’ll be able to prescribe you a medication that will treat the infection regularly and get your condition cured.  There are basically two options when it comes to medication, a solution or salve that you can apply to the infected toenail with a brush-like applicator and a pill.  There is a lot of debate on which toenail fungus remedy is best and for whom.  Some people shouldn’t take the pill because of concerns about increased liver strain while others people believe that the brushed on solution won’t get deep enough to treat the infection.  A lot of it depends on what type of infection you have and your underlying medical situation.  A brief look around online will provide you with enough information to make a decision.

Natural Remedies for Toenail Fungus

There are a wide range of natural remedies out there for toenail fungus.  They range from soaking your feet in vinegar to using vapor rub.  While many of these may seem like “old-wives tails”, a little bit of investigation should provide you with enough info to decide if it’s something you want to try.  The best part about natural remedies is that there are usually no side effects and most of them are fairly inexpensive so if they don’t work you won’t have wasted much money.  Keep in mind that it may take longer for natural cures because they aren’t specially design for toenail fungus treatment.


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    • Lose the Fungus profile image

      Lose the Fungus 5 years ago

      Where most people use a lot of different home remedies for treating toenail fungus and end up either doing some painful treatments, technology is once again stepping up and helping. Laser treatment for toenail fungus is reported as being less painful and much more effective than other toenail fungus treatments. There is more entailed info at which I hope helps anyone who is looking into treating their toenail fungus.