- Toenail fungus is usually painless and causes thickened, discolored, and brittle toenails.
- You can catch a fungal toenail infection by walking barefoot on surfaces such as pool decks.
- Older adults and people with diabetes and compromised immune systems are more likely to develop toenail fungus.
- You can often treat toenail fungus at home, but a doctor may prescribe medication to treat more severe infections.
Toenail fungus is a common infection that can be challenging to get rid of. Around 20-percent of people in the United States develop a fungal toenail infection; a stat that rises to 75-percent of people aged 60 or over. Toenail fungus rarely causes pain or complications, but it can be unsightly and annoying to deal with.
Fortunately, there are various effective ways to prevent and treat fungal toenail infections at home. Your doctor can also prescribe stronger medication if your toenail fungus doesn’t respond to home remedies. Knowing how to spot the symptoms of a fungal toenail infection can help you treat the problem quickly and stop it from spreading.
A mild case of toenail fungus isn’t usually painful. It often causes the affected nail to turn whitish or yellowish, although it can appear dark brown if there’s a lot of debris underneath. Over time, your infected toenail may become thickened, and you might notice that it crumbles or breaks easily.
More severe toenail fungus can smell mildly unpleasant, and your toenail might change shape. Toenail distortion caused by a fungal infection can cause pain.