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Fungal infection of the toenail is the most common disease of the nails. There are four classic types of crumbly nails but usual symptoms include a yellow or cloudy appearance and thickening of the nail. The nails can become rough and crumbly, or can separate from the nail bed. There is usually no pain or other bodily symptoms, unless the disease is severe.

A fungal infection of the nail often starts in a small section of one nail and may spread slowly to several or all nails. Eradication of the fungal infection can be a long and protracted process.


Your podiatrist will assess your foot and identify the stage and extent to which your nail has been infected. Localised treatment of fungal infections is to access the active edge of the infected section of nail and then treat the site with topical antifungal medication. Sometimes it is necessary to take a strong anti-fungal tablet. A treatment plan to access the active fungal edge will be implemented by your podiatrist.

To be effective, topical antifungal treatments must be applied to the growing edge of the fungus. As the active edge of the fungus is on the underside of the nail, the upper side of the nail will act as a natural barrier to the absorption of any creams or lotions and so it needs to be removed through careful podiatric care.

To make an appointment or ask any questions, contact us.


For more information about foot problems, go to our Advice Centre which has factsheets you can download as well as the latest news on foot conditions or just contact us with your questions.