There are many toe infection symptoms which can be an indicator of a fungal infection or a bacterial infection. The most important thing is to identify the symptoms and then to treat them as soon as possible in order to prevent the spread of the infection.
Many people suffer from fungal infections, although they may be very mild and not a big cause for concerns, so they do not seek treatment. The main symptoms are:
- The nail becomes much thicker, may split or crumble and it can even separate from the skin surrounding the nail;
- The nail changes color and this could be any number of colors, depending upon the severity of the infection, including yellow, white, grey, brown or black.
- A build-up of fragments of nail and skin under the nail and around the nail;
- The nails become powdery on the surface.
These toe infection symptoms are disconcerting enough; however, if you notice any pus or redness, puffiness, swelling or pain, you have a very serious infection and you should go to the nearest medical clinic immediately.
There are a few common types of fungal nail infections, including Distal subungual onychomycosis which is caused by dermatophytes which affect both the nail as well as the underlying skin. This type of fungus is responsible for about 90% of the toenail infections.
The next most common infection is white superficial onychomycosis which affects the surface of the nail. It can create white spots or streak on the surface of the nail, a powdery nail surface with discoloration. The nail does not separate from the skin below the nail.
Certain people are much more susceptible to these kinds of infections, including people who suffer from diabetes, HIV, people with poor circulation, cancer, males, people over 60 years of age and those who take immunosuppressive drugs.
There are some risk factors that you can control and/or eliminate, including:
- Wearing tight or badly fitting shoes;
- Wearing shoes that make your feet sweat;
- Sharing items that you use on your feet, including shoes, socks, clippers, etc.;
- Living in a hot or humid climate;
- Not wearing sandals or flip flops when you use shared showers in a locker room or public pool;
- Having athlete's foot;
- Being in a job where your hands and feet are constantly wet.
- Wearing artificial nails or nail polish which do not allow air movement beneath your nails.