Most of the time, whenever you notice that you have a toenail infection it may be too late since the infection has already fully developed as there are not many visible symptoms of nail fungal infection other than a simple toenail discoloration, possibly the first sign that you'll detect.
A toenail infection caused by fungus is not rare. In fact, an estimated 35 million people worldwide are thought to be infected annually by this disease. Aside from being stubborn, this infection is also highly contagious. You can virtually get the infection at work, home, a public facility like a pool, gym, or nail salon. Aged people especially those above 65 years old are particularly vulnerable.
Toenail infection can happen on one or multiple nails at one time. An attacking fungi colony would first exploit the vulnerable openings around and under the nails to gain a foothold. After some time, the colony would grow and spread to other parts of the feet. The very first effect of the attack is a different color of the nail. This is due to the color of the toenail fungus itself. Depending on the natural color of the fungus, toenail discoloration can be golden yellow, brownish, or yellowish in color. There are also nails that can turn green when attacked by a fungus. Still, other nails may become a cornucopia of ugly colors.
After nail discoloration, ridges and other deformations can follow and if left untreated, the nails themselves can detach from the nail bed leaving an ugly toe. It is critical to prevent the infection from making deformations on the nails since deformed nails can no longer be reverted to their previous form without losing the nail.
Treatment should commence right away to force out the toenail infection attacking fungus. Many medications are available in the market that does not need a doctor's prescription. It is important to remember that the treatment itself will take some time to show improvement. The effect of the medication greatly depends on the severity of the toenail infection. Normally, treatment can run up to a minimum of a few weeks to months. If the infection has been there for years, it may also take years to fully reach a total cure for the infected part.