Onychomycosis is an infection of one or multiple nails caused by a microscopic fungus. It is common among adults, and especially among seniors.
This infection is often caused by microtrauma, wearing shoes that are too tight, or the use of unsterilized foot care instruments. Smoking, diabetes, immunodeficiencies (caused by HIV, among other infections), and vascular diseases also promote the appearance of this infection.
The affected nail is discoloured, brittle, and finely striped. It can be yellow, brown, black, or white in colour. Its thickness makes it difficult to trim. It can also produce an unpleasant smell.
Treating onychomycosis can be difficult. The infection begins at the root of the nail; over time, it aggravates and progressively spreads over the entire surface of the nail. Neighbouring toenails can also be infected.
Podiatrists are the best type of health professional to evaluate the seriousness of onychomycosis, and recommend the treatment that best suits patients’ needs. If the infection is benign or moderate, the local application of a drug may be useful and effective. If the infection has spread, the use of oral medication may be required. Many other treatments exist for onychomycosis. Clinique podiatrique de l’Estrie podiatrists are able to recommend the treatment that best suits patients’ needs.