Toenail fungus (also called onychomycosis) is a nail disorder that affects nearly 20% of the population. Toenail fungus usually begins in a small space between the end of the nail and the nail bed, where soft yellow material gradually develops.
As the disorder develops, the nail becomes thick and yellow and may show white spots and streaks. If toenail fungus is left untreated, the nail can eventually grow fragile, chalky, or crumbly. In more severe cases, the nail may crumble away.
Toenail fungus is commonly caused by:
Toenail fungus can be treated effectively. If you suspect that you may have toenail fungus, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist or podiatrist so that a suitable treatment plan can be designed. Depending on the extent of the condition, treatment options may include:
The best ways to prevent infection are to:
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This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed on: 01/06/2017