It’s common for people to not always consider a problem before it personally affects them. One foot issue, in particular, that isn’t often considered until it’s already a problem is foot fungus. The same type of fungus that affects your feet can easily spread to and affect your toenails! When a toenail is impacted by toenail fungus, signs and symptoms can be minor and difficult to notice for quite some time until it becomes unsightly and potentially painful.
In most cases, toenail fungus starts out as a tiny spot of discoloration on the actual nail bed. It can, however, progress into the nail become deformed, brittle, painful, and potentially infected. This isn’t something you want to try and treat by yourself at home - toenail fungus can easily spread to other areas of the foot as well as other toenails. Here are some signs and symptoms to look out for when it comes to identifying toenail fungus:
Discoloration in the nail bed: One of the most common symptoms seen early on with toenail fungus is slight or drastic discoloration of the nail bed. It might start as a dot of skin darker than the nail bed and might progress to large blotches throughout.
A lifting of the nail bed: Though this symptom is often seen only in more progressed cases of toenail fungus, a lifting nail bed is a concerning sign. This happens because the fungus growing beneath the nail bed is literally pushing the nail up from its base, which can cause damage over time and reduce its ability to regrow.
An odor coming from the nail bed: While it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly where a foot-related odor is coming from (is it your foot, toes, or your shoes?), take other symptoms you may be experiencing into consideration. If you have foot odor as well as nail discoloration, toenail fungus is likely to blame. If you recently had athlete’s foot, this may contribute to foot odor but can also cause fungus to spread to the nails.
When toenail fungus is caught early on and treated promptly, it’s easy to reverse the effects. Keep your toes in top shape - sandals season is only a few months away!