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Nail fungus is a common infection of the nail. It begins as a white or yellow-brown spot
under the tip of your fingernail or toenail. As the fungal infection goes deeper, the nail
may discolor, thicken and crumble at the edge. Nail fungus can affect several nails.

Symptoms
Symptoms of nail fungus include a nail or nails that are:
– Thickened
– Discolored
– Brittle, crumbly or ragged
– Misshapen
– Separated from the nail bed
– Smelly
Nail fungus can affect fingernails, but it's more common in toenails.

Risk factors
– Older age
– Wearing shoes that make your feet sweat heavily
– Having had athlete's foot in the past.
– Walking barefoot in damp public areas, such as swimming pools, gyms and
shower rooms
– Having a minor skin or nail injury
– Having a skin condition that affects the nails, such as psoriasis
– Having diabetes, blood flow problems or a weakened immune system.

Prevention
The following habits can help prevent nail fungus or reinfections and athlete's foot, which
can lead to nail fungus:
– Keep your nails clean and dry. Wash your hands and feet regularly. Wash your
hands after touching an infected nail. Dry well, apply an antifungal foot powder
and moisturize your nails. Consider applying a nail hardener, which might help
strengthen nails and cuticles.
– Keep your nails trimmed. Cut nails straight across, smooth the edges with a file
and file down thickened areas. Disinfect your nail clippers after each use. Letting
your nails grow long creates more places for the fungus to grow.
– Wear absorbent socks or change your socks throughout the day.
– Choose shoes made of materials that breathe.
– Discard old shoes or treat them with disinfectants or antifungal powders.
– Wear footwear in pool areas and locker rooms.
– Choose a nail salon that uses sterilized manicure tools for each customer. Or
disinfect tools you use for home pedicures.
– Give up nail polish and artificial nails.
– If you have athlete’s foot, treat it with an antifungal product.

Treatment
Talk with your health care provider if your condition doesn’t improve. Treatment depends
on the severity of your condition and the type of fungus causing it. It can take months to
see results. And even if your nail condition improves, repeat infections are common.
– Medication : oral antifungal drugs, medicated nail polish, medicated nail cream.
– Surgery.

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