Monday, 08 June 2020 00:00

How Can a Fungal Toenail Develop?

Fungal toenails, while often unsightly, can also be extremely uncomfortable. They can be identified by discoloration and thickening of the toenail. In some cases the nail may become so brittle that it breaks or splits, causing a great deal of pain. Fungal toenails can be more common among people who are diabetic, have a poor immune system, lack personal hygiene, and those who do not wear proper footwear in high risk fungal contaminated environments. Some of these environments can include public swimming pools, gyms, locker rooms, and communal showers. The fungi can enter through an opening in the nail, causing the infection. If left untreated, it may spread, creating more serious foot complications. For more advice on how to treat this condition, it is suggested that you seek professional care from a podiatrist.

If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact Maria Buitrago, DPM of Foot Surgery Specialists of Texas. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.


  • Warped or oddly shaped nails
  • Yellowish nails
  • Loose/separated nail
  • Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
  • Brittle, broken, thickened nail


If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.


In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.

In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office located in Houston, TX . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.


Read more about How to Treat Your Toenail Fungus

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