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What are fungal nails and how can they be treated?

Updated: Mar 6

Fungal nail infections, also known as “onychomycosis,” are very common. They may affect up to 14% of the general population. Fungal toenail infections are more common than fungal fingernail infections. A fungal nail infection occurs from the overgrowth of fungi in, under, or on the nail. Fungi thrive in warm, moist environments, so this type of environment can cause them to naturally overpopulate

Who gets fungal nails?

Anyone can get a fungal nail infection. Some people may be more likely than others to get a fungal nail infection, including older adults and people who have the following condition:

  • A nail injury or foot deformity

  • Trauma

  • Diabetes

  • Weakened immune system

  • Venous insufficiency (poor circulation in the legs) or peripheral arterial disease (narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to the arms or legs)

  • Fungal skin infections on other parts of the body (for example athletes foot)

How to prevent a fungal nail infection?

  • Keep your hands and feet clean and dry.

  • Don’t walk barefoot in areas like public showers.

  • Don’t share nail clippers with other people

  • When visiting a nail salon, choose a salon that is clean. Make sure the salon sterilises its instruments (nail clippers etc) after each use- eg us!! We aren't a beauty clinic or nail bar but we do offer gel polish or varnish as an addition to your treatment.

  • Wear clean socks every day, and if you have an active infection (fungal nails or athletes foot then we advise washing socks at 60 degrees).

  • Treat athletes foot as soon as possible to prevent it spreading to your nails.

How to treat a fungal nail infection?

This depends on various factors including the severity of the infection and the time you have had it for. At our clinic firstly we will take your medical history and ask questions about when the infection started and try to establish how it occurred. An important part of the service we offer is our advice! We will always be honest in how we think the best way forward is to cure any infection. Fungal nails can be hard to treat and take patience. We offer topical treatments and will explain how to continue this at home. We also offer cold laser therapy which has proven to be extremely successful in treating fungal nails. If you aren't sure if you have a fungal nail infection then we also offer a 5 minute fungus test where we can give the results during your appointment. If you'd like any further advice on fungal nails or the treatments we offer then please get in touch.

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