Toenail fungus can surprise you if you aren’t paying close attention to your feet. If you’re not in the habit of clipping your nail regularly or performing a self-exam for your lower limbs, you might discover one day that your nail looks a lot different than it used to. It might be thick, yellow, and discolored. It may even be warped and bent.
Unfortunately, by the time toenail fungus develops to this stage, it becomes very tough and time-consuming to eradicate. The fungus has likely spread across the entire nail bed, and the thickened toenail itself makes a great shield against topical treatments. If you want to avoid this outcome, you need to be able to identify the early symptoms of toenail fungus and step in before the damage really sets in.
Early signs can include:
- A spot of discoloration at the tip of the nail. The spot could be white, black, or any other color. Often this gets shrugged off as a bit of dried blood or bruise, if it gets noticed at all. But if you don’t remember stubbing your toe, there’s a good chance this spot is a growing fungal infection.
- Lines or ridges on the nail. If you notice lines or feel textured ridges, there is a good chance they will continue to get worse.
- A white, powdery substance on or under the nail. Again, even when spotted, this is often mistaken for a different problem, such as a scratch or scrape of the nail.
- Debris building up under the nail. This will generally start to darken the appearance of the nail.
Again, without treatment, these symptoms will only continue to build and result in the thick, discolored, crumbly, distorted, ragged appearance typical of a serious fungal nail infection.
If you pick up on any of the early signs, make an appointment with the team at Freeland Foot & Ankle Clinic. We’ll get you started on an aggressive treatment plan and help you restore that healthy shine! Give us a call today at (989) 695-6788.