Nail fungus: Signs and symptoms
What are the signs of nail fungus?
If you get nail fungus, you’re likely to see one or more of the following changes to your nails:
Part of a nail turns white, yellow, brown, or another color. At first, you may just see a spot of discoloration at the tip of your nail. Without treatment, this discoloration may spread, covering more of the nail.
Debris builds up under the nail.
A nail begins to lift up, so it’s no longer firmly attached to the finger or toe.
A nail turns white, and the surface of the nail may feel soft, dry, and powdery. The nail also thins, so you may be able to scrape off the nail.
Nails thicken and turn yellow or brown, often this affects all of the fingernails.
A nail splits or crumbles.
Treatment is important
Without treatment, the fungus can spread and damage more nails.
Having nail fungus is usually painless. At least, it’s painless in the beginning. However, if you put off getting treatment, the fungus can grow. When the fungus worsens on toenails, wearing shoes can become painful.
If you see any changes to a nail, you should see a board-certified dermatologist. When caught early, nail fungus may clear with treatment applied to the nail. As the fungus grows, it becomes more difficult to clear the infection.
Images 1,2, and 3 used with permission of Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology: J Am Acad Dermatol. 2014;70:918-23.
Image 4 used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.
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