Toenail Fungus Problems: The Basics

Although you may not think of your toenails as a potential source of health problems, they can cause trouble in certain instances. For example, your toenails are vulnerable to fungal infections, a condition known as onychomycosis. This article takes a closer look at some of the crucial aspects of this health issue. 


At the start of a fungal infection you may notice that your toenails are looking yellowish. The infection may also begin as a small white spot under the tip of your nail. The white spot can then spread throughout the nail. As the condition progress, you may see your nail start change color and become thicker. The nail may also weaken due to the spread of the fungus, which could cause the edges of your toenail to break away. 

Mild Case 

If you have a mild case of onychomycosis, then home care might be enough to deal with the problem. You can purchase one of the various over-the-counter lotions and see if they bring good results. Another home treatment is to place tea tree oil on your nails two times every day for at least 60 days. This particular method takes time to see any results because the infected nail must grow out all the way for the fungus to be eliminated.  

Severe Case 

If you have a severe case of toenail fungus or home treatment proves ineffective, then it's time to consider other methods. One of the standard treatments the dermatologist may recommend is taking prescription anti-fungal oral medications. These are generally effective, but also have some risk of serious side effects, such as liver damage. 

One intriguing option your dermatologist might pursue is laser therapy. These treatments are typically given over the course of three months. You will usually require a session about once every two weeks. 


Of course, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" as the old saying goes, so you will want to take all reasonable steps to avoid developing a fungal infection in the first place. The fungus that causes the infection thrives in dirt and moisture, so one key step is to trim your toenails regularly and keep your feet clean and dry. Be cautious about having your nails trimmed at a salon, as poor sanitation at a salon can increase your risk of being infected.

If you have suspect that you have a toenail fungus, contact your dermatologist like Dermatology Associates PC for more information concerning this topic.