Overview of fungal nail infection

Infections of the skin or nails are typically caused by a specific group of fungi, out of the many species in existence. These infections generally don’t cause serious issues.

Fungal nail infections, known as Onychomycosis or tinea unguium, mostly affect toenails, though they can also impact fingernails. Infected nails may become discolored, brittle, prone to breaking, or thicker than usual.

Fungi thrive in warm, moist environments, making skin areas with limited airflow, like feet inside shoes and socks, common sites for fungal infections. Fungal nail infections are less common in fingernails. Some people at higher risk include those with wet hands due to their occupation, such as hairdressers or farmers.

If you suspect a fungal nail infection in your fingernails, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional before using over-the-counter treatments, as changes in fingernail appearance could indicate an underlying condition. Severe cases may require prescription medications or, in extreme instances, partial or full nail removal.

Signs and symptoms of fungal nail infection

There are usually some tell tale features of fungal nail infections, although they can be very subtle in the early stages.

  • Thickened nails
  • Discoloration (yellow, brown, or white)
  • Brittle or crumbly nails
  • Distorted nail shape
  • Separation of the nail from the nail bed
  • Pain or discomfort in the affected area
  • Slow growth or no growth of the nail
  • Pus or discharge in severe cases
  • Itching or burning around the nails

It is important to seek medical advice  from a clinic such as Oxona Healthcare if you suspect a fungal nail infection to make sure you get the appropriate treatment.

Treatment of fungal nail infection

To effectively address fungal nail infections, treatment options range from over-the-counter remedies available at pharmacies, such as antifungal nail paints, to prescription treatments like antifungal tablets. In more severe cases, we may recommend creams to soften the infected nail, allowing for the safe removal of affected areas. It’s important to follow our guidance regarding the use of over-the-counter or prescription treatments. In certain instances, complete nail removal may be necessary to eliminate the infection. Our Oxona doctors will work closely with you to determine the most suitable treatment plan based on the severity of your condition and your individual needs. Be sure to follow our recommendations for the best outcome in managing your fungal nail infection.

FAQs

What sort of appointment should I make?

Your first appointment should be a 30 minute ‘skin diagnosis and treatment’  appointment. Subsequent appointments can usually be 15 minute follow up appointments.

Can I claim for my appointment on insurance?

You need to speak to your insurer prior to your appointment. Some insurers will reimburse you for the appointment, but you will need to present any documentation at the time of your appointment for the doctor to sign. Please note that all our doctors are registered with the GMC on the GP register not the consultant register. Please ensure you make this clear to your insurers at the outset.

How it works

From the moment you book your appointment to post-treatment care, we’re here to support you.

  • Booking your appointment
    With Oxona, there’s no need for a referral and you can book your appointment online, over the phone or by email. All appointments require a pre-paid deposit due at the time of booking.
  • Consultation
    Our specialists will give you the time you need to discuss your problem, making sure you are truly heard. Your questions will be answered with understanding and impartial advice, so you feel ready to make an informed decision.
  • Treatment plan
    Our treatment plans are based on you as an individual, rather than off the shelf. Taking into account your symptoms, medical history and any anxieties, we’ll explore all available options and respect your decisions.
  • Aftercare
    Your care doesn’t end after your treatment. Our team are on hand to offer free post-operative support, and to answer any questions about your treatment plan.
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New clinic opened in Didcot on Monday 15 April to meet additional demand.